Team boss Flavio Briatore has made clear his expectation that Nelson Piquet impress at the wheel of his Renault in 2009.

Team boss Flavio Briatore has made clear his expectation that Nelson Piquet impress at the wheel of his Renault in 2009.

Brazilian Piquet, 23, had a mixed formula one debut last year, scoring 42 fewer points than teammate Fernando Alonso, who won two races.

In an interview with Italian radio, Briatore spoke glowingly of the French squad's double world champion, praising the Spaniard's "incredible determination" involving a winter cycling programme of 200 kilometres per day.

Turning his attention to Piquet, however, the Italian mogul added: "At the moment he would not win the world championship in a Renault or a Ferrari.

"He is a mysterious character," the Spanish news agency EFE quotes Briatore as saying. "His last name is not going to make him any faster."

Referring to the same radio interview, the Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport also quotes Briatore as saying: "I have tried once again to develop a young guy into an established driver.

"This year will show us whether we chose the right young guy," the 58-year-old added.

 

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