Piquet: Renault Might Choose Grosjean

With most of the attention now on the title fight between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, people might forget about other action within the F1 paddock. The last few days left us clueless on the lineup changes for the upcoming season, with neither Sebastien Bourdais nor Nelson Piquet securing a racing seat for next year. If Bourdais' situation depends on Toro Rosso's closing the deal with Honda for 2009, Piquet's is all about whether Renault want some French blood in Formula 1 or not.

“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.
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