The clock's been ticking for a long time on Nelson Piquet Jr, I was actually very bullish on how Nelsinho was going to do in Formula One. Maybe I was blinded by the name, and the cache that name holds in the world of Formula One especially in a Brazilian's eye.
But sometime recently it all coalesced in my mind how did Nelsinho even make it to Formula One? and once again we come back to his father, Nelsinho's teams in all rungs of the single seater development ladder had one thing in common.
The name Piquet on it, the only reason had made it so far was because of his father and now daddy's not there to save poor Nelsinho from the cold hard world, what happens? he finally gets sacked, and Renault has no choice to replace Nelsinho.
On a side bar... that Piquet-Sauber rumor was probably the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard, that Nelson would go as far as buying a Formula One team to give his son a job is ridiculous. It encapsulates everything that's wrong with the world today.
So now to the nitty gritty. There are two drivers that Renault and Briatore have committed themselves too, the French/Swiss Romain Grosjean and the Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi.
Both men have been in the Renault family for a long time, both are very accomplished in GP2 and both would be a great addition to the Renault Formula One team.
I'll be honest, I don't watch much GP2 racing but I've heard both drivers have sparkling records.
Romain Grosjean who is thought to be the clear front runner for the position has the following results this year an average qualifying position of 7.66, average finish in a feature race of 8.66 and in sprint races 7.33.
Lucas Di Grassi who missed the first races of the season in 2008 still managed to finished third in the championship. So far in 2009 his qualifying position of 5 is better than Grosjean's. His average finish in a feature race has been 6.883 and 10.33 in sprint events.
Both drivers have the same amount of points scored in feature races, 24, and they're within five points of each other in the championship.
Grosjean seems to be the more technically skilled driver, more predictable and less of a risk, but Di Grassi is an incandescent talent and amazingly fast. They're track records are very similar. Honestly think it's a toss-up, both would be a good choice.
Grosjean was probably promised the job a long time ago, when they knew Nelsinsho wouldn't work out, but I think Di Grassi is more deserving but in the end we'll find out what happens next week, after all he is French and Lucas isn't.