Piquet Demands Equal Treatment from Renault

Nelsinho Piquet has asked for equal treatment from Renault ahead of the upcoming Formula 1 season. The Brazilian will enter his sophomore year in F1 as clear underdog to Fernando Alonso, but insists his team should provide him with the same chances – in terms of car, testing days and technical support – as the Spaniard in 2009.

“In the first year it was only good for me. Obviously I had a teammate that was very strong and I had to push myself very much, but I could really see where I had to push myself and when I was quicker that I was in a good position,” said the son of former F1 champ Nelson Piquet at the unveiling of the new Renault R29 car yesterday, at Portimao.

“I think in the second year it will be tougher because now is the point where the team will have to give the same chance to both drivers and with all this testing system right now, where we are only allowed one car and limited days, that's going to be a bit tricky. How are you going to judge which days for which drivers? Hopefully we will be able to equalize both drivers having the same amount of testing. And again there is strategy and all these kind of things.”

“Last year was my first year and I was learning, and obviously once in a while we would give priority to Fernando because he had a better chance of winning the race or being more in front. Now I think the team will have to play on both sides and try to give both cars exactly the same conditions. The second year is going to be tougher,” added Piquet.

The Brazilian driver had a decent year last season, but was consistently out-qualified by Alonso throughout the 18 events on schedule. However, he scored Renault's first podium of the season and started to fight for points on a regular basis in the final rounds of 2008. He reckons that he will change his approach on the championship completely this year, now that he's more relaxed.

“The first to the second season makes a huge difference, both by knowing the tracks, and also being more relaxed, having done 18 starts already, knowing the procedures. I will be able to think about other things and not be worried about things that shouldn't bother me with the car. It's going to be a much easier season,” concluded Piquet.

The Brazilian tested the new Renault R29 shortly after its unveiling at Portimao yesterday, recording the best time of 1:48.907.
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