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Briatore backs 'talented' Piquet

2008-05-29 09:21

Briatore backs 'talented' Piquet

Team boss Flavio Briatore has strongly backed Nelson Piquet amid rising speculation about the struggling rookie's dubious future at Renault.

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"Nelsinho definitely has talent," the Italian is quoted as saying this week by sportnet, after yet another disappointing race for 22-year-old Piquet at Monaco last Sunday.

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Rumours suggest that the Brazilian, whose despair was captured by photographers after he slid out of the prestigious race, has been handed a three race deadline to up his game, as laid-off Super Aguri lineup Anthony Davidson and Takuma Sato wait in the wings.

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Briatore added, "He is a part of the team and we need him.  I have no doubts about that."

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Briatore's comments come after his fellow Renault chief Pat Symonds insisted this week that Piquet, the son of his namesake and former triple world champion, is only lacking confidence following a disastrous opening third to his F1 career.

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Engineering boss Symonds compares Piquet's performances so far in 2008 with his predecessor Heikki Kovalainen, who managed to turn around his fortunes at about the same time last year.

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"At this time last year a lot of people were thinking Heikki was entering his last few races," the Briton told Renault's podcast this week.

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"With a driver or a sportsman it's about self esteem, and believing in yourself.

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"All Nelson needs to do is to turn that corner and believe in himself and it will happen again," Symonds added.
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