Fernando Alonso has committed his future to Renault, ending speculation over a possible move to Ferrari in 2009.
Renault has become the seventh team to announce an unchanged line-up for 2009 with Nelson Piquet Jnr remaining alongside Alonso.
Alonso had been linked to Ferrari, BMW and Honda at different stages during the season. But after the first two teams confirmed they would stay with the same drivers for the foreseeable future, Alonso was increasingly expected to stay at Renault.
He has enjoyed an excellent end to the season with the team, winning two of the last four races. He scored 33 points in the final four rounds, 13 more than any other driver (Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa each scored 20).
Piquet has not enjoyed a very successful a season in his first year of F1. He had more non-mechanical DNFs than any other driver (seven) and was the only driver to be out-qualified by his team mate at every round.
Earlier rumours suggested Renault might promote Lucas di Grassi or Romain Grosjean in his place. Piquet’s retention is not going to diminish suggestions that, after 2007, Alonso doesn’t want to share a team with a competitive driver again.
But with Renault clearly enjoying a resurgence, the prospect of Alonso facing down Hamilton and the Ferrari duo for the 2009 championship is an enticing one…
Fernando Alonso biography
Nelson Piquet Jnr biography
2009 F1 drivers and teams
2009 F1 season
49 comments on “Alonso and Piquet Jnr confirmed at Renault for 2009”
5th November 2008, 14:50
I say Di Grassi for Honda, then.
5th November 2008, 15:09
Yes Alonso had a good end to the season, he is a quality driver. But will he ever drive for ferrari in 2010? Will Ferrari be in F1 in 2010? We will know by the end of this month when engine tenders are confirmed and teams acceptance confirmed (or not as the case maybe)
5th November 2008, 15:16
Yes, so he has agreed to stay put into next year, with all the new developments, but what happens when Renault aren’t as fast as he’d like early in the season, and maybe Nelson learns from his mistakes and gains more confidence?
Are we going to have yet another year of rumour and accusation?
I agree that Alonso is a wonderful driver, but I wouldn’t include him in my first choices of team-mate!
5th November 2008, 15:20
Really, Flavio? Nothing to do with the next berth becomming available at Ferrari in two seasons then?
5th November 2008, 15:45
I can’t believe Piquet has been given another year at Renault. At least we’ve got another season of comedy driving to look forward to…
5th November 2008, 15:50
That picture is hilarious, how many time will we see that next year?
Piquet ahead of Alonso?
5th November 2008, 16:27
I cant believe they have confirmed piquet after such a dreadful season!!!!! For sure Di Grassi is much better. Anyway GOOOOOO Alonso!!! LoL we r going to win the championship off hamilton next year!
5th November 2008, 16:35
Good for Piquet, although i rate Lucas di Grassi highly, Piquet has earnt his seat for next year with some good performances towards the end.
His 2nd at Hockenheim correctly shudn’t be mentioned when ‘is he good enough’ because it was down to nothing on his part, just the flukiness of his race egineers who happened to time his strategy right when thinking of a possiple safety car attempt.
Piquet’s drive for 4th in Fuji i thought was excellent and towards the end his performances were more mature, also he wasn’t mouthing off as much as he did at the start of the season.
Alonso staying was a no-brainer, regardless of his 2 wins he was staying as he’d be mad to go to Honda who wont do better in the season than Renault next year. Saying that a good season next year and he’ll be at Ferrari sooner than later.
Now what im wondering is who will be confirmed for STR and Honda. Will Rubens’s still be in the sport, because at 25 Bruno Senna is mature enough to do a decent job. Bourdais and Buemi for STR, fingers crossed!
5th November 2008, 16:58
Not to mention BMW, and who knows, perhaps even Red Bull. 2009 will be very interesting.
Was it Prost who vetoed Senna’s return to Williams in 1993? Although that’s a bit different from Alonso, if indeed he didn’t want any potential upstarts from challenging him, rather than one specific individual.
5th November 2008, 17:00
What is hilarious for me is notice that this is the first time on Formula 1 history that a driver can keep his seat only because he is a real rubbish.
Just put Lucas Di Grassi on this car and make Alonso run a little bit for his money, this why motoracing should be about.
5th November 2008, 17:41
I had predicted this one during some of our live blogs.
With reduced test time Heikki was the last of the lot to get 30000 hrs of test time in car before getting race seat. Doesn’t make sense to loose all the effort put in Nelson getting race experience on all race venues this year and starting from scratch with Digrassi/ Grosjean, who don’t have much testing experience in the “F1 car”
On a side note – With Reduced test times,it will become more and more difiicult for F1-wannabes sufficient test time in F1 car under their belt. FIA can make some good use of the monies it has collected through random fines on teams and drivers and provide State of Art F1-Simulator for the Aspiring drivers. Benefit of spending thousands of hours in good F1 simulator has been highlighted by career of latest WDC. So F1 simulator access to aspiring driver in various FIA member nations would be good service to racing community . Max Are you listening.
Williams and McLaren have the best F1 simulators in their factories, maybe they can use it for commercial use. It can help get more “better adapted” drivers to the grid
5th November 2008, 17:41
I think, a wise decision by Renault not promoting Di Grassi to the race seat. They clearly need Alonso to improve the car; and it makes sense for Renault to keep Alonso fan.
The psychology behind this move seems similar to Mclaren’s last year. Having a weak no.2 in Heikki; just for the sake of stability which was essential after a torrid 2007
5th November 2008, 18:19
I think 7 non-mechanical DNFs is far too much to even keep what is a 2nd driver seat. Renault should give Di Grassi or Grosjean a chance even just for collecting potential constructors points. Or giving the mechanics an easier life. If they are to be serious about contending for either, or both, WDC and WCC again then they need a driver that can at least keep up and not bring it home.
Not to say Di Grassi and Grosjean would definately do a better job than Piquet as rookies, but I’m not too sure if Piquet is going to do that much better next season…and I don’t think either driver could do much worse.
Fingers crossed I’m wrong.
5th November 2008, 18:24
curious… did Nelson’s mexican sugar daddy have anything to do with this I wonder?
5th November 2008, 18:33
Good point but you must to know Di Grassi´s technical background and curriculum.
He has a huge experience as test driver. The car from GP2 last season have a good amount of Di Grassi´s input on it and he was invited again to test the car (GP2) to the next season.
Those invitations from GP2, tells you how this guy could be a interesting tool to Renault.
For me, Lucas has much more to offer to Renault on this moment than Piquet and considering how they are putting energy on the development of the car to catch the big guys in 2009, I think Lucas would much more worth, working with Alonso, than the mediocre Piquet.
The only explanation to do not put this guy on the other car is because of an Alonso´s veto.
5th November 2008, 18:58
I want to see Di Grassi and Grosjean in F1 but I don’t see any reason to think they’d do better than Piquet.
5th November 2008, 19:00
Becken – Huge Experience as test driver :-?
As I have mentioned before, Since 2007 Season start the testing miles per year have been reduced drastically as a result, its mostly the race drivers who have been testing to get better understanding of car for race day. Teams really don’t have luxury to use their test drivers as much as they did till 2006 season. In fact reduction in testing has been one main reason why all the race drivers drive so many laps in FP sessions on Friday.
Those interested can see the stats of Race weekends at F1GPupdate Website
As I have stated above didn’t make sense to repeat the investment on new driver
5th November 2008, 19:30
The talking point of “Alonso not wanting a competitive teammate” is tired. When it comes to the subject of one Fernando Alonso, it seems that we throw previous history and logic of the sport aside.
What do you think McLaren did for the future when the team hired Kovalainen as his replacement? And what did that result in? Every driver out there, no doubt about it, wants a teammate slower than himself. If McLaren were to fire Kovalainen and get someone to challenge Hamilton, do you not suspect Hamilton would grow weary and suspicious of his team? I suspect some resentment would follow.
But yes. Renault’s retaining of Piquet over two potentially talented (but highly unproven) rookies must mean Alonso is merely the master of the puppet team. It must follow.
5th November 2008, 19:35
PS – Well those that have implied that Piquet has been continued since he doesn’t pose threat to Alonso and that Di Grassi/Grojean may prove handful, you really don’t have to do much to mess up with internal rivals like these. If anyone has been following sports for a long, Trulli’s Performance “Suddenly wendt downhill” after he posted first Renault win ahead of Alonso at Monaco’04 and It was Fisico who had mechanical issues, Botched pit-stops after a emphatic drive to victory after dramatic Australian Season opener at 2005.
Its Heikki who has to qualify in Q3 with Heavy fuel load through-out 2008 and not vice-versa.
So there are “Subtle” ways of taming the internal rival and Keeping the “lead driver” happy.
We would all be too much woolly eyed to assume that teams do provide identical equipment and strategy to both drivers (Hamilton was lucky in 2007 since he was driving in his mentors team)
5th November 2008, 19:42
“I can’t believe Piquet has been given another year at Renault. At least we’ve got another season of comedy driving to look forward to…”
I’m not so sure. I have my problems with Piquet (and I would give the seat to Di Grassi), but during his whole career Piquet had gone for pretty much the same arc:
1st season on South American F3 – Just ok.
2st season on South American F3 – Champion.
1st season on British F3 – Again just ok.
2st season on British F3 – Champion.
1st season on GP2 – Just ok.
2st season on GP2 – Second place (and that’s only because there were a guy named Lewis Hamilton racing against him).
I’m not claiming he will suddenly start to drive on the same pace as Alonso, but given that his whole career has him underperform as a rookie, but been strong on second season, Renault can hope the same will happen in F1.
Also, I’m pretty sure the plan for some time now is to debut Grosjean in 2010, so it doesn’t make any sense to give another rookie they didn’t plan to keep a seat and it would be hard to get more experienced drivers (Bourdais, Barrichello) for just one season.
5th November 2008, 19:45
err lets clarify, McLaren originally went all out for Nico but he chose to stay at Williams to build the team around him. I bet he’s regretting it especially concidering the teams current finances and global credit crunch. Even Williams were surprised he did not go to them. McLaren then decided to go for Heiki who is just not currently up to scratch for several reasons. Nico would have been a far more formidable rival to Lewis. After all, McLaren want to win the WCC as well don’t they. Ron coverts that trophy equally. So it makes no sense alleging that McLaren deliberately chose someone not to rival Lewis.
5th November 2008, 19:59
Hey, Guys, don’t get me wrong. My point is: who is more worth to the team? The mediocre Piquet or a good promise as seems to be Di Grassi who has performed well at GP2 last year and who really has a GOOD (ok, I replaced the word!) experience as a test driver?
My point is: if Alonso has really vetoed Di Grassi (as they did with Heikky), the team has threw away a good chance with a driver who could give much more to the team than the average Piquet and just because Alonso likes to be in comfort zone.
5th November 2008, 19:59
Chaz – Ron Coverts that Trophy would have been a good statement till his mentee didn’t turn up as one of the seat holder.
Unless the 2009 regulations indeed enable on track racing, we have to live with the fact that till you have front row locked up consistently you are not going to win maximum points. your second driver qualifying mid-field anywhere behind second row ( in last race, british press was worried for Lewis’ safety even on the second row) effectively reduces your WCC chances. Unless Internal politics sidelines Ron Dennis and Mercedes takes more control of the way the that team is operated. It will be status quo at McLaren.
Interesting thing to see will be Heikki’s second season at McLaren!!! Will he get “equal opportunity” to go for poles or win? or will he be ganged-up against in mid-season following incident like USGP 1st corner melee in 2006 ( which was anyway common place at Indy given the layout of that first corner)and forced out of team to make way of certain German Driver who has shown lot of promise this year driving for a Japanese Marquee, we shall see.
I have seen strange things in F1 in last 20 odd years, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my prediction does materialize and Hekki shunted out of McLaren
5th November 2008, 20:02
Becken – There is no proof the Fernando Vetoed out Heikki out of Renault. Its just press speculation. given the story that Fernando had just walked out of stormy relationship with McLaren, everybody lapped it without verification. and I needed say which section of Press had flared that speculation.
PS – The same section of press is still confident Antony davidson will be taking Barichello’s place in Honda. They also had lauded Silverstone podium as fitting farewell to affable brazilian
Roger Carballo AKA Architrion
5th November 2008, 20:14
Yeah. What happens with Becken is that maybe he can’t watch live timing and take a real look at what a driver do, or maybe he do use live timing, but only the line named LEWIS HAMILTON.
Last race Nelsinho Piquet was 0.1 sec slower than Fred on Q1 and Q2…. I’ve seen rated drivers been slower than that!!! But you need to look… of course.
Man, I would say that Fred has had a run for his money this year!! In fact, he has run so much last races that he was 13 points of running faster than the current WDC, if you make the count after Hungary.
5th November 2008, 20:24
Hey, Roger, easy, mate…
Anyway, I didn’t get your point. I´m just thinking in the team as a whole and not just in Alonso. I think, Lucas could be a good help to “FRED” at the developing of the car instead of Nelson.
Did you get it?
About the points, look the last two years and you will undestand why we have a worth champion this year:
1 Lewis Hamilton 98 + 109 = 207
2 Felipe Massa 97 + 94 = 191
3 Kimi Räikkönen 75 + 110 = 185
5 Fernando Alonso 61 + 109 = 170
Roger Carballo AKA Architrion
5th November 2008, 20:33
Incredible. You compare the points made with that rocket Lewis had this year with the bycicle that won two races with the Alonso driving….. You could even compare Lewis winning in Silverston with the Monza’s exhibition by Vettel….. Just to maintain a balanced opinion. IMO.
5th November 2008, 21:00
Ok, Roger, you started the thing, mi amigo. I was just debating about Piquet and Renault.
Roger Carballo AKA Architrion
5th November 2008, 21:17
Hey, man, don’t take it too bad from me. I just wanted to heat up the thing, to make it a bit more interesting.
5th November 2008, 21:23
all due respect to Lewis but this combined tally of last two years amuses me. A million stats like these could be made about many drivers. He is 2008 champion – end of story.
5th November 2008, 21:23
I’m happy Piquet has been given the drive next season.
He may have had a poor season but at times he’s looked very good. Very few (if any) drivers have a rookie year like Lewis had & for most drivers being teamed up with the most successful driver on the grid is a daunting prospect.
Just as Alonso suffered due to Lewis’s relationship with Ron last season, so to has Piquet suffered due to Alonso’s relationship with Flavio. Alonso will always be given preferential treatment as far as machinery & strategy is concerned at Renault.
I hope Piquet does well next season & is able to push Alonso from the start as this will encourage Alonso and hopefully help him compete for the championship, if his car is good enough.
If I were Alonso I’d be a little worried about 2010, there could well be a very good young German moving to Ferrari then & if Felipe or Kimi want to stay on then he could find himself out in the cold.
5th November 2008, 21:37
No, no Roger, I didn´t take it bad…;). In fact, any Mclaren supporter or Lewis fan need to be here trying to defend or prove at any cost that Lewis is a worth champion or a worth driver. In fact, Lewis did it for himself Sunday, here in Brazil. This is why I do not care anymore about any bash (what is not your case!) or I do not need to be in fight for the team or for the driver at any place.
We, fans and supporters, we are happy and celebrating the success of the team and the driver, just that!
In fact, I hope to see Alonso with a fast car (he is a worth champion, a superb driver who deserves one!) to be beat by Lewis again, and in a fair and square way without any complains this time, as Lewis did with Ferrari this year. This is why motor racing is about.
Abrazos, amigo ;)
5th November 2008, 21:52
I am also happy to see Piquet to retain his drive. The couple of GP2 drivers talked about to maybe replace him have hardly set the world on fire.
Piquet has had some bad races and of course having a team mate like Alonso is usually going to make life tough. However Piquet has also had some really good performances here and there. Germany does spring to mind, I know everyone wants to say that was all down the the safety car but Piquet had to actually keep the car on the track under extreme pressure and put in decent lap times to bring that home after the luck, which he did. His Japan performance was also very good, and not helped by a safety car.
He does need to up his game a notch next season though or he will be out, and I’m sure he knows that had will apply everything he has learned this season to do so.
5th November 2008, 23:56
I too wondered why Piquet got another year then remembered what he is – slower than Fernando. While I reckon Fernando was the driver of the latter half of the season, he’s still pretty insecure. Sad, really, but then so was Schumacher, needlessly so.
6th November 2008, 0:09
Give it up – you have nothing to rely on but tired, old wives types of media talking points.
6th November 2008, 1:44
To Everyone who rates Di Grassi and Bruno Senna so high.
How come do you all are so sure that Di Grassi or Bruno could do so well in F1. This is something you can never tell looking at their careers so far. I wonder why all this fuzz about them besides Bruno’s family name. They never won a single title so far.
Piquet is not just in racing by his name, it’s impossible to win races and titles only with a NAME.
He had means to support his career, but money doesn’t crowns you the younger British F3 winner of all time.
Di Grassi could be a F1 champ someday, but nothing in his background years convinces me that he is better than Piquet.
If you guys rate drivers as F1 material or not so frequently, what has Bruno Senna done to convince you that he is the so called “F1 material”. What I’ve said about Di Grassi you can double about Bruno. He’s done nothing yet to deserve a F1 seat.
Bruno is gonna make tests in Honda and Toro Rosso someone might say. Keith could tell us all how much that means in midia exposure for the Brands/Teams. One thing I’ve learned this year after 31 F1 seasons is that there is no such thing as a F1 free test for a newcomer. The driver pays for the test and it’s not cheap I must say.
Piquet is a fine driver, his career so far shows it. He needed a second year to win the F3 Sudamericana as much as Lewis needed a second year to win Formula Renault UK. Piquet needed a second year to win British F3 as much as Lewis needed a second year to win F3 Euroseries. Both had a wonderful second year in GP2. Lewis needed a second year to win the F1 crown. Why not give a second shot to Piquet in F1, he seems to like a second year as much as Lewis……
All this is to say a simple thing. Let Piquet have a go in 2009, he is, like it or not, a winner wherever his raced so far.
P.S.: I’m not a Nelson Piquet Jnr die hard fan. But I think he’s a good driver and I don’t understand why so many of you dislikes him, maybe it’s because his father made Mansell looks like “Mr.Bean with helmets” years ago.
6th November 2008, 5:26
“Piquet’s retention is not going to diminish suggestions that, after 2007, Alonso doesn’t want to share a team with a competitive driver again.” – Of course true. But why would Renault (Flavio) do that? Renault must also concentrate on competing for constructor’s championship as well, with Piquet I don’t see any possibility for such a thing to happen.
6th November 2008, 9:04
I am surprised by Nelson staying another f1 season with Renault. But Alonso was an excelent endseason.
Surprised too I am by Kovalainen still in Mclaren-Mercedes. HIs driving is so bad. Look at this:
Alonso: fifth with 61 points. (a slow renault)
Kovalainen: seventh with 53 points (Super mercedes)
6th November 2008, 11:26
For the record:
Nelson Angelo Piquet made 19 points in his first year.
The best performance of a brazilian rookie driver ever.
6th November 2008, 11:41
Was hoping Renault would be patient with Piquet , and keep him another year . Now they have , I’m glad , and even more that Alonso is staying . Piquet was challenging for GP2 champion with Ham. and I think only just lost out. Maybe being a 3 time WDC’s son coupled with starting first F1 year in a difficult car has also put him under a lot of pressure , but while I would not bet money that he will become a world champion , I think he will prove to be a very good F1 pilot in future. Probably better next year than Di Grassi or Grosjean would do in their first year of F1 , and that’s what would have tilted Renaults decision in his favour , nothing to do with Alonso , his famous father or whatever other carp is suggested. As for the duel of Alonso vs Hamilton , yes , that thought alone can easily carry me through the closed season.
6th November 2008, 13:08
HONDA: Button + Senna
STR: Buemi + Di Grassi
By the way, senna and Di grassi are fighting for a Honda´s seat, but at this point a seat in STR seems to be a better way…..
6th November 2008, 13:45
Alonso staying at Renault was the ticket to Piquet retaining his drive. Piquet was a loud mouth before he got his drive in F1 and it’s my belief that his experience has humbled him.
He was never expected to beat his team mate or compete with him all season. He was not expected to make so many silly mistakes while under no pressure whatsoever.
Mclaren have always wanted the best drivers they can get in their team. Heikki was a choice forced on them. They wanted Rosberg and a few others, and no way would they not give Rosberg equal machinery.
Heikki is still adjusting to the car after 2 years driving a Renault with a different characteristics. The problem he has is not so much that he qualifies with a heavier fuel load, its just mainly that he is not able to maintain a steady pace during the race, so a light fuel load might compromise his chances during the race.
Some older drivers need to leave and make room for up coming talent. Barichello isn’t going to be world champion even if he drives a Ferrari right now, neither will be, Fisichella and a few others.
My fear with Button is that, if he cannot motivate Honda all these seasons to produce a car worthy of winning championships, then he is also a passenger in that team, and the team thus needs a driver who can motivate them.
Simulators don’t make a driver any better. Kimi used the simulator at Mclaren and it didn’t make him world champion, like wise Coulthard and Montoya. Matter of fact, the driver who has used Mclaren’s simulator the most is Pedro, and much good it has done him. Even Hamilton has said the Simulator isn’t much help.
True drivers will stand out every time, if help is needed in knowing what direction the track goes, any video game can help with that.
6th November 2008, 18:27
I think Renault did right on not replacing Piquet for other rookies
As far as the next pairings
6th November 2008, 18:54
This story about FA not wanting a competitive driver in his team is just rubbish. He not only wants to win the WDC but also the WCC. The only thing he asks to the team is to be Nº1, that means he chooses strategy first , wich means quite a lot of things, because the car changes quite a lot depending on fuel, tyres and so on. He has said that several times, and that “equality” in F1 does not exist, in spite of the same arero and engines.
Nelson has had a dreadful season in a car that Alonso said was undriveable in many times during the season. And with TC banned was much more for a rookie ( I´d like to see some of the top drivers in that car last season, and see how good they did compared to Nelson). I´m sure he will do better next season. And with more power in the engine things will be much tight in front. I think next season will be much more interenting that this one. There is a race now to get the best car, as every one begins from almost zero, and do not forget the KERS.
BTW, has anyone seen the advertisment of a BMW with an energy recovery system from the brakes?. It is on sale now at your next cardealer. Hum…..
6th November 2008, 20:19
Alonso has the most points in the last 8 races of the season not just the last 4:
Last 8 races (Top 4)
6th November 2008, 21:16
New BMW Serie 3 with BMW EfficientDynamics. Find it out.
7th November 2008, 5:19
I disagree to all those who said that Piquet does not deserve to be in Renault 2009 line up. C’mon everybody deserves a second chance and I absolutely think that Nelson already learned from his mistakes..and those people who has passion for what they do will improve to be the best on their field ..and racing is his passion so I definitely know that 2008 season is an eyeopener for him to make him better next year. I agree with fergus his second year in F1 might be his break.
7th November 2008, 7:24
Consider something for a moment- if Fernando wanted his teams to win the WCC, do you think he would have opened his mouth and helped ignite an inter-team firestorm at McLaren last year? Just asking…..
First up, this was easily the worst-kept secret around F1 for the last month or so, and we all saw it coming, esp. after FA turned up on the top step in Singapore. It’s just anohter example of Flavio and Fernando padding their egos and saying “Look at us!!!” With that said, Piquet still has his drive because…….
– He’s got a big name that brings attention
– He’s tied to major financial backers
– Most importantly, he won’t challenge Fernando.
Sure, we can say that McLaren and Renault want the top guys in both cars, but honestly, how many people out there really celebrate the WCC? It’s all about their no. 1 drivers, and McLaren and Renault will be keen to keep their current lineups for some time.
8th November 2008, 12:32
Young drivers need time and the best example of that is Renault. Last year it took Kovalainen half a year to sort his problems out. This year it was the same with Nelson Piquet. Both of them had reasonable testing experience of F1 car before they arrived in Formula One. Albeit Piquet didn’t had as much luxury as Heiki
Drivers like Senna, di Grassi, Grosjean or Buemi have almost no experience in these cars compared to that. That shows that the testing rules need to be modified to help young drivers learn the basics. The risk of taking them on board has become just too big. Drivers like Glock, Piquet or Bourdais have learnt so much in their first season that it can never be matched by a newcomer in just a few races.
Also agree with the view above that if Testing restrictions cannot be lifted for cost saving, then give access to new drivers to “Simulators”
JPM,DC, Kimi are essentially “work in the race” type drivers, One of the Reason Dennis the control freak was never comfortable with these blokes, was they were already set in a typical Mould which Ron couldn’t undo and impart his ways.
And as one of the poster mentioned above – If Indeed Lewis has denied having benifitted from “hours and hours” Ron made him test in the simulator. Thats one big slap in face of Ron by the Young Man (And I am not surprised to see that). That ungraceful kid knew every bump and every gradiation of every circuit,even before he had stepped foot on it
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