Renault has confirmed that Nelson Piquet will remain with the team for the Hungarian Grand Prix, after renewed speculation about his future surfaced during the Nurburgring weekend.
Piquet has yet to score this season, and has only outqualified his teammate Fernando Alonso once in two and a half seasons. AUTOSPORT reports that a performance clause in the Brazilian's contract could have allowed Renault to drop him after the German race, and team boss Flavio Briatore initially refused to confirm that he would be kept on.
But Renault has now entered Piquet for the Hungaroring as usual, and he is optimistic that he will be much stronger next weekend as from Hungary his car will also receive the upgrades that Alonso used in Germany. It is believed that his contract stipulates equal equipment to his teammate, so he is being given a further opportunity to show what he is capable of.
"I pushed hard, but my car didn't have the new updates that Fernando had and it was difficult to make much progress or match Fernando's pace," Piquet said of his Nurburgring race, which saw him fall from 10th on the grid to finish 13th.
"I should have the same upgrades as Fernando in Hungary and I think I can be more competitive. As always I will be aiming to qualify in the top ten and hopefully score some points in the race."
Piquet reckons his previous strong form at the Hungaroring will also help him achieve a better result next weekend.
"I enjoyed Hungary last year and it was probably one of my best races as I finished sixth," he said. "It's also a circuit where I won in GP2."
Past and former Renault test drivers Romain Grosjean and Lucas di Grassi, both currently competing in GP2, had been touted as the potential replacements if Renault had decided to part company with Piquet.