“I think Renault are in need. It's been a few years since they had a French driver. There are always discussions. Paddocks are not very big: we talk. Everyone knows what everyone is doing. Everyone is waiting for the other's decision,” admitted Nelsinho according to Reuters. Renault's closest opportunity to signing a French driver is GP2 Asia champion Romain Grosjean, part of the French manufacturer's development programme during the past year.
The Brazilian failed to make a big impression in the first part of the season, scoring his first points in Formula 1 at Magny-Cours. Only two races later, the Renault rookie scored an impressive podium in Germany, finishing runner-up to championship leader Lewis Hamilton. The second part of the season also brought an increase in form for both Renault drivers, mostly thanks to a more competitive car set up by the French team's mechanics.
Despite his good performances in the last few races – managing to score points for Renault consistently – the young Brazilian doesn't think the last impression in Brazil will make a difference in Briatore's mind when the Italian finally makes a decision on his team's future lineup.
“I don't think it will make a difference, we've had 17 races already. It wasn't the year I expected, but I learned a lot,” added Piquet.
According to some sources inside the F1 paddock, Brazilian oil company Petrobras are still pushing for a Brazilian driver inside Formula One. Following the possible departure of F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello to IndyCar Series next season, Bruno Senna is in pole position for securing a drive for the Japanese manufacturer in 2009. If Piquet is not confirmed at Renault for next year, he may also be joining Jenson Button at Honda in 2009.