August 18, 2009

Renault makes Grosjean No. 2 driver

Renault says it has moved Romain Grosjean up a spot to the No. 2 driver spot for the rest of the Formula One season.

Grosjean, whose first race will be this weekend's European Grand Prix, replaces Nelson Piquet, who had a fallout with the Renault team's management and left this month.

I'm very excited and I want to thank the team for giving me this chance, Grosjean said. My first race will be a learning experience. It's difficult to set myself an objective, so my first priority will be to get comfortable with the car, build my confidence over the weekend and do the best job I can for the team.

Grosjean, 23, joined the Renault team in 2006. He has been racing in the GP2 series, where he won twice. He was the 2007 Formula 3 Euro Series champion and in 2008 won the GP2 Asia Series.

Renault managing director Flavio Briatore called Grosjean an impressive young talent, and added the team expects him to show his skills driving alongside Fernando (Alonso) as we take an aggressive approach to the second half of the season.

Piquet had joined Renault last year and failed to earn any points in the world championship standings. He had complained about the amount of test time he was given and said he had been threatened with replacement if he didn't start producing better results.