A furious Nelson Piquet has confirmed that will leave the Renault with immediate effect, in a statement damning the Enstone team.
The Brazilian driver’s future at Renault had already been in doubt after entering into a war-of-words with Team Principal, Flavio Briatore.
In the statement, Piquet confirmed that his services at Renault were no longer required.
“I have received notice from the Renault F1 team of its intention to stop me from driving for them in the current F1 season,” he said.
As well as thanking his mechanics, Piquet revealed his relief at ending his spell with Renault, describing it as the worst period of his career so far.
“I want to say thanks to the small group who supported me and that I worked together at Renault F1, although it is obviously with great disappointment that I receive such news. But, at the same time, I feel a sense of relief for the end of the worst period of my career, and the possibility that I can now move on and put my career back on the right track and try to recover my reputation of a fast, winning driver. I am a team player and there are dozens of people I have worked with in my career who would vouch for my character and talent, except unfortunately the person that has had the most influence on my career in Formula 1.”
Piquet criticised Briatore for not giving him the same treatment as Alonso, which prevented the Brazilian from meeting the points obligations of his high performance-based contract.
“For the 2009 season Briatore, again acting both as my manager and team boss of Renault F1, promised me everything would be different, that I would get the attention I deserved but had never received, and that I would get “at least equal treatment” inside the team.” Bemoaned Piquet.
“He made me sign a performance-based contract, requiring me to score 40% of Fernando Alonso’s points by mid-way through the season. Despite driving with Fernando, two-time world champion and a really excellent driver, I was confident that, if I had the same conditions, I would easily attain the 40% of points required by the contract.
“Unfortunately, the promises didn’t turn into reality again. With the new car I completed 2002km of testing compared to Fernando’s 3839km. Only three days of my testing was in dry weather – only one of Fernando’s was wet. I was only testing with a heavy car, hard tyres, mostly on the first day (when the track is slow and reliability is poor), or when the weather was bad. Fernando was driving a light car with soft tyres in the dry, fine conditions. I never had a chance to be prepared for the qualifying system we use.”
Piquet also accused Briatore of being the “executioner” for his downfall, but still believes that he has the potential to succeed in Formula One.
“The conditions I have had to deal with during the last two years have been very strange to say the least there are incidents that I can hardly believe occurred myself. If I now need to give explanations, I am certain it is because of the unfair situation I have been in the past two years. I always believed that having a manager was being a part of a team and having a partner. A manager is supposed to encourage you, support you, and provide you with opportunities. In my case it was the opposite. Flavio Briatore was my executioner.
“Fortunately, I can now say to those people who supported me through my career that I’m back on the good tracks and considering the options for a new start in my F1 career in a fair and positive way.”
Renault are yet to announce Piquet’s replacement.