Nelson Piquet fires a parting shot at the Renault boss Flavio Briatore after being released from his contract with the team.
Piquet lashes out at 'executioner' Briatore
Nelson Piquet fired a damning parting shot at Flavio Briatore after today being released from his contract with Renault. After 28 grands prix, and notably 10 this season without scoring a point, Piquet unsurprisingly finds himself out of Formula One. Yet the Brazilian driver, rather than going quietly, has chosen to point an accusing finger at Renault team boss Briatore, describing him as his "executioner". Piquet, 24, has launched a stinging attack on Briatore, who also served as his manager, claiming his arrival at Renault was the start of "the black period" of his career. "As a beginner in F1, I expected from my team a lot of support and preparation to help me in getting up to the task," said Piquet, who found himself alongside double world champion Fernando Alonso. "Instead, I was relegated as 'someone who drives the other car' with no attention at all. "In addition, on numerous occasions, 15 minutes before qualifying and races, my manager and team boss would threaten me, telling me if I didn't get a good result, he had another driver ready to put in my place. "I have never needed threats before to get results. "In 2008 I scored 19 points, finished once on the podium in second place, having the best debut year of a Brazilian driver in F1." Piquet claims Briatore promised him 'equal treatment' this season after being made to sign a performance-based contract requiring him to attain 40 per cent of Alonso's points by the midway point of the year. However, Piquet insists the Italian reneged on his words as Alonso was often afforded the better car, leaving him with little or no chance in qualifying and the races. "I believe without doubt in my talent and my performance," added Piquet, who finished second to Lewis Hamilton in the 2006 GP2 championship. "I didn't get this far by getting bad results. Anyone who knows my history knows the results I am having in F1 do not match my CV and my ability. "The conditions I have had to deal with during the last two years have been very strange to say the least ? there are incidents that I can hardly believe occurred myself. "If I now need to give explanations, I am certain it is because of the unfair situation I have been in in the past two years. "I always believed that having a manager was being a part of a team and having a partner. "A manager is supposed to encourage you, support you, and provide you with opportunities. In my case it was the opposite ? Flavio Briatore was my executioner." Piquet is now seeking out pastures new in F1, confident he has the talent to shine, even if his record says otherwise, in particular as he was out-qualified 27-1 by Alonso. "Being under pressure is not new to me," insisted Piquet, the son of three-times former world champion Nelson Piquet Snr. "I have had criticism throughout my career, and have also had a lot of expectations put on me due to my name. "Up until now I always met those expectations ? surpassed them even. "I have never before felt the need to defend myself or fight back from rumours and criticism because I knew the truth and I just wanted to concentrate on racing ? I didn't ever let it affect me. "Fortunately, I can now say to those people who supported me through my career I'm back on the good tracks and considering the options for a new start in my F1 career in a fair and positive way." With the seat now vacant, it is likely Renault will turn to test driver Romain Grosjean for the final seven races of the year.
* PA Sport