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Nelson Piquet Jr Profile

Saturday 26th January 2008

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Nelson Piquet Jr Profile

Nelson Piquet Jr Profile

Nelson Piquet Jr somehow managed to retain his Renault seat for 2009, but will need to produce the goods if he hopes to stick around.

His father Nelson Piquet is one of just a handful of drivers who have achieved the honour of winning the F1 World Championship on more than two occasions, clinching the series in 1981, 1983, and 1987.

And Brazil is now looking to his son, Nelsinho, for a new World Champion.

Nelsinho's racing career started in 1993 in Brazilian karting, where he would stay until 2001 when he moved to Formula Three Sudamericana.

In 2003, he moved to the UK to participate in the British Formula 3 Championship and form the Piquet Sports team. He went on to take 3rd place with six wins, five podiums and eight pole positions.

A year later the Brazilian won the British Formula 3 Championship, became the youngest driver to take the title at the age of 19 years and 2 months.

In 2005, he took part in the A1 Grand Prix for A1 Team Brazil, winning the very first Sprint and Main races of the series.

That year he also joined the GP2 Series, driving for HiTech/Piquet Sports, winning his first GP2 race in Belgium. He stayed in GP2 in 2006 where he claimed second place in the Championship just behind British driver Lewis Hamilton.

He moved on to a full-time test driver role with Renault in 2007 having already tested with Williams and Honda previously. His performances during Renault's test sessions led the team to sign him as Fernando Alonso's team-mate for the 2008 Championship.

His debut season in F1, though, wasn't a great one for the Brazilian who battled to live up his father's reputation or his team-mate's pace.

After six retirements in his first nine races he eventually redeemed himself with a podium finish at the German GP. Three more points-finishes followed in the remaining eight races, going some way towards securing his race-seat for 2009.

But he can't expect Renault to keep him on for another season if he doesn't find a way to close the gap to Alonso's pace.

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