Nelsinho Piquet: “Shit happens always for me” 

Written by David on April 10th, 2009 at 10:43 amLast Update: April 14th, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Renault driver Nelson Piquet jr, son of three-time Formula One world champion Nelson Piquet, has been interviewed by British magazine F1 Racing with questions provided by the magazine’s readers. The young Brazilian, tired of the way the media and Renault have criticised his performances in 2008, has hit out at his team-mate Fernando Alonso and Renault’s managing director Flavio Briatore.

“I have a team-mate who is quite strong and the team look towards him, and I would like a situation where the team is looking towards me,” said the Brazilian referring to the treatment he has received so far at Renault. The Brazilian, though indirectly, has also accused his team-mate Alonso of being selfish, because he couldn’t test enough the new car, the R29. “Fernando wanted to test most of the time because of the new systems, and the team want him to test because they think he can develop the car quicker,” said Piquet.

When asked by a reader if managing director Flavio Briatore has been always fair and supportive, Piquet said: “Not always. He can be really tough and you need to be able to ignore the right things, absorb the right things and be able to judge everything”.

Speaking of his not so great season last year, the Brazilian said that he had bad luck in several occasions but he also made some mistakes. “2008 wasn’t a good year at all, but I think it was a bit of everything. I had a bit of bad luck, plus I made some mistakes. The car was really difficult to drive, and the priority always went to Fernando on strategy and everything.”

Bad luck as the one he recalls last year at the Singapore Grand Prix: the Brazilian crashed into the barriers and his team-mate won the race. “I was pushing hard and I spun. The team called Fernando in at the right moment. Shit happens for me and he gets lucky. Like in pre season testing this year.”

When asked if his position in the team is similar to Eddie Irvine’s when the Irish had Michael Schumacher as a team-mate at Ferrari – Irvine said at the time that it was ‘like being hit over the head with a cricket bat for four days‘ – Piquet said: “Well, maybe a bit similar! It’s very tough, yeah. I would say it was nearly that!”

Update: On Tuesday 14th April, the Renault F1 team issued the following statement regarding the article published on F1 Racing.

The ING Renault F1 Team would like to deny the negative comments attributed to Nelson Piquet by the Italian and Spanish press, who were referring to an article published in the UK edition of F1 Racing magazine. The comments are completely distorted as a result of an extremely poor translation from English and were reported out of context as Nelson responded in a light-hearted manner to irreverent questions submitted by the magazine’s fans.

“I’m amazed how my words have been completely misrepresented by the press,” said Nelsinho Piquet. “I was trying to be funny and amusing to stay in tune with the cheeky questions I was asked. It’s a pity that I have to find myself clarifying what I said,” he added.

“I’m a very happy member of the ING Renault F1 Team and I have an excellent relationship with everybody, including Fernando and Flavio,” continued Piquet. “I’ve never had any reason to believe that I was treated in an unfair way and I have no doubt about the team’s support. I’m confident that we will have a good year together and I’m looking forward to the upcoming races with the sole focus of doing the best job I can for the team.”

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