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Romain Grosjean to drive for Renault F1 team

Romain Grosjean will start for Renault for the remainder of the Formula One season Keystone

French Formula One team Renault has announced that Swiss-French driver Romain Grosjean will replace Nelson Piquet Jr at Sunday's European Grand Prix.

This content was published on August 18, 2009 - 12:40

The 23-year-old Grosjean, who was born in Geneva, will race alongside Fernando Alonso at the European GP in Valencia, Spain and for the remainder of the 2009 season.

In a statement, Renault said Piquet had been released from his obligations to the team "with immediate effect" following a "mutual agreement that this course of action is in the best interests of both parties".

Piquet had failed to score a point over the first ten races of the season and had publicly lashed out at team boss Flavio Briatore two weeks ago.

"This season Romain has been the team's third driver and has attended all races, which has allowed him to gain experience and become fully integrated with the team," Renault said.

Grosjean became part of the French team's driver development programme in 2006 after winning the French Formula Renault title.

In 2007, he was Formula 3 Euro Series champion, and in 2008 he won the GP2 Asia Series.

This season he has been competing in the GP2 Series with Barwa Addax.

"Impressive young talent"

Team director Briatore said Renault was happy to give Grosjean the chance to race with the team.

"He is an impressive young talent and we expect him to show his skills driving alongside Fernando as we take an aggressive approach to the second half of the season," Briatore said.

"We would also like to thank Nelson for his contribution during the time he has been with us and wish him all the best for the future," he added.

Grosjean commented that he was proud of the opportunity given to him.

"It's also an honour to be Fernando's teammate, and to make my Formula One debut alongside a double world champion is especially motivating."

Earlier this year, Grosjean said that becoming the third driver for the Renault F1 team was another step forward in his career.

"Learning experience"

"The year ahead therefore promises to be an amazing learning experience and I intend to make the most of the opportunity to be part of a world championship winning team."

"In 2008 I had my first test with the team and so I've been able to build a relationship with the test team, which has been a really valuable experience.

"Now, I'll be able to strengthen my relationship with the engineers and learn more about how the team operates, which is really exciting."

Another Swiss driver, Sébastien Buemi, entered Formula One this year and has been driving for the Toro Rosso stable.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

Grosjean timeline

2000-2003: Renault Formula ICA Karting

2003: Formula Renault 1600
Ten wins from ten races saw Grosjean crowned Swiss champion.

2004-2005: Formula Renault 2.0
He competed in both the French and European Formula Renault championships, completing partial seasons in Europe and the full French series both years. After finishing as second best rookie in the 2004 French championship, including one win and three podium finishes, he won the title with ten wins the following year.

2006-2007: F3 Euroseries
Graduating to Formula 3, Grosjean finished 13th in the championship in his first season, which included two wins during the British F3 Championship rounds in Pau, France.

2007: ASM
In 2007, Grosjean secured a position with ASM, and took an impressive title in a closely-fought series, with a total of six wins, six podium places and four pole positions.

2008: GP2 Series and Renault F1 Team test driver
In 2008, Grosjean combined his responsibilities as test driver for the Renault F1 Team with GP2 campaigns in the GP2 Asia Series and GP2 Series. Racing for ART Grand Prix, he made a name for himself by winning the Asia series. He was also a frontrunner in the GP2 series, winning two races, including the feature race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

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