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GP Week : Issue 45
Piquet frustrated by car speed Another poor result leaves the Brazilian wondering when he’ll get the R29 upgrades NELSON Piquet has put another frustrating race performance behind him, as he struggled to find any kind of pace in a barely-updated Renault R29. While team-mate Fernando Alonso’s car had a number of updates for the Spanish Grand Prix, Piquet was driving mostly the same car he’d raced in Bahrain – but without KERS, which the team deemed would be of little use at the Circuit de Catalunya. “I didn’t have much of an upgrade on my car, it was mostly on Fernando’s car which was a bit of a shame,”he told GPWeek. “The start was tough with the crash and I lost some places picking through the debris and then the car had no pace at all in the race. But it’s another race completed, which was important for me.” Piquet had put in his best qualifying performance of the season on Saturday, but despite making a big leap forward in his pace he is still not happy with his race performances. “I was pretty happy but qualifying is only a tiny bit of the weekend. It’s the race that matters and it wasn’t good at all so I’m very frustrated.” Piquet told GPWeek that for Renault to catch their rivals will be difficult, as the pace of development continues unabated. “It depends how quick we can produce a quicker car. But the other teams are improving as well so if we go in the right direction and do the right thing then we can move forward but I think it’s going to be difficult. KERS is helpful depending on the track. Bahrain it was useful and here it wouldn’t be. We’ll figure it out on a race by race basis.” Beprjo Hamilton: I’ve got no hope of title LEWIS Hamilton has admitted he now has “no hope”of retaining his World Championship following a disappointing Spanish Grand Prix in which he finished out of the points in ninth position. “What can I say?”he asked when interviewed by the BBC after the race. “I drove my heart out, as I always do, and it’s just that this car is just not going to, I don’t know – I just had no grip.” 28 “For sure I don’t have a car to win the championship, but what’s a shame is that the team have done a fantastic job, every weekend they do a fantastic job; we’ve got great reliability and the morale in the team is fantastic but it’s just a shame that they’re not giving me a car to defend the championship with. Everyone’s wondering what’s going on but the car is that bad, I’m driving the socks of it, but there’s just no hope.” Hamilton was lapped by race- winner Jenson Button towards the end of the race in a very graphic display of just how much the tide of F1 competitiveness has turned this season. Hamilton admitted he would love to be racing against his countryman. “I want to say a big congratulations to Jenson, he’s done a great job again and I look forward to racing him at some stage again.”