Due to his lack of pace in the championship, the Brazilian was rumored to “drive for his seat” during the upcoming rounds in Europe, with the Enstone based team to evaluate his performances and potentially replace him before his deal expires at the end of this year. However, Briatore made it very clear that he'll do everything in his power to help Piquet secure his seat, as he has so far proven loyal to teammate Fernando Alonso.
“He is a good teammate for Fernando (Alonso) and has always been very loyal to him. He is experiencing a difficult moment, but when someone is having trouble you help him, not kill him. We have to give him some room for the European races,” said the Italian manager in an interview with Spanish newspaper Diario Sport.
The first step in that direction was already made by the team engineers during the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend. For the first time this season, Piquet took on a low-fuel strategy in the practice sessions in order to better evaluate the performances of the car. However, that didn't help him in either the qualifying session or race, as he ended the Barcelona weekend on a disappointing 12th place.
Piquet's father, 3-time world champion Nelson, had urged the Italian manager to take better care of his son this season, and explore his full potential from the first practice session to the very race of each weekend. Also, he insisted Renault should not put any pressure on young Piquet, as it will only make it harder for him to perform.