Briatore recently criticized Piquet Jr for his poor results this season, but insisted he needs a race ran under normal conditions in order to evaluate the full potential of the Brazilian driver for 2009. After a strong performance in Bahrain – where he finished 10th overall – Briatore finally praised his young driver for the first time this season.
Piquet Sr. believes the other members of the Renault staff should act the same, as only this would help his son progress this year. Also, he argued the Renault engineers should get more often to the real problems encountered by Piquet and try to work with him on those particular issues, rather than letting it unsolved.
“I said to Flavio that he will only get the maximum from Nelson if he gives him cover. If the engineers are roaring on the radio that he is driving badly because he lost his first quali lap in traffic, then how can a driver develop confidence?” said Pique Sr. in an interview for German publication Auto Motor und Sport.
“Too often he has to drive in practice with a lot of fuel in the tank. The team knows that his problems are with lower fuel so they should let him drive more often in qualifying trim,” added the former F1 champ.
Piquet Sr has so far joined his son at every grand prix this season, and is also expected to be there in the Renault garage during the upcoming event, in Barcelona. As in Bahrain, the 23-year old will benefit from the same aerodynamic package as teammate Fernando Alonso, including the heavily revised double diffuser.
Piquet is yet to win a point this season, as his best performance so far is a 10th place during last weekend's Bahrain GP. Also, he is yet to make a Q3 appearance in qualifying, as he only managed to step into Q2 two times this year (Australia and Bahrain).