Flavio Briatore has vowed to "help" rather than immediately sack Renault's struggling Nelson Piquet.

Flavio Briatore has vowed to "help" rather than immediately sack Renault's struggling Nelson Piquet.

Intense speculation has surrounded the future of the 23-year-old Brazilian, including rumours in Barcelona last weekend that Piquet could be ousted as soon as the forthcoming British grand prix to make room for reserve driver Romain Grosjean.

But in interview with Spain's Diario Sport, team boss Briatore said Piquet is being given time to prove himself now that the season has begun on the more familiar European circuits.

"He is a good teammate for Fernando (Alonso) and has always been very loyal to him," the Italian said.

"He is experiencing a difficult moment, but when someone is having trouble you help him, not kill him. We have to give him some room for the European races," added Briatore.

Briatore also did not want to address rising speculation that, given Kimi Raikkonen's struggles, Alonso is now being tipped by the Italian media to restore Ferrari's fortunes perhaps as soon as 2010.

"I do not talk about these issues because I have others to solve. These decisions are for another time," he said.

 

 

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