Romain Grosjean, the first GP2 Asia Series champion and fourth in this year's main GP2 series, looks likely to return to the support category in 2009.

Romain Grosjean, the first GP2 Asia Series champion and fourth in this year's main GP2 series, looks likely to return to the support category in 2009.

The Swiss-born 22-year-old Frenchman was closely linked with a graduation to formula one with Renault next year, as team boss Flavio Briatore toyed with the concept of dropping Nelson Piquet.

But Briatore ultimately concluded that Grosjean, a Renault test driver this year, was "too young" to make his F1 debut in 2009, and "made too many mistakes" in his GP2 single seater.

That was despite the fact that, with Fernando Alonso staying in 2009, it is feasible for a team like Renault to "experiment with new drivers" such as Grosjean, Briatore is quoted as saying by Marca.

The team's Italian boss, however, remains convinced by his policy of grooming his own stars of the future, as he did with Alonso, and subsequently Heikki Kovalainen, Piquet, and now Grosjean and Lucas di Grassi.

"If you want to win with somebody really good, you need to bring up your own drivers in-house, like we did with Fernando, and McLaren with Hamilton," Briatore said.

 

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