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September 22, 2009

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Piquet slams Briatore, hopes for F1 return

FORMER Renault driver Nelson Piquet criticized his former team boss Flavio Briatore and expressed bitter regret for his own role in Formula One's race-fixing controversy yesterday.

The Brazilian driver said he hoped another team would give him the chance to 'start from zero'.

Piquet, who went to the FIA to expose what had happened after he had been dropped by the team in August, said in an emotional statement that his time at Renault under Briatore had been a nightmare.

"Having dreamed of being a Formula One driver and having worked so hard to get there, I found myself at the mercy of Mr Briatore," he said. "His true character, which had previously only been known to those he had treated like this in the past, is now known.

"Mr Briatore was my manager as well as the team boss, he had my future in his hands but he cared nothing for it. By the time of the Singapore GP he had isolated me and driven me to the lowest point I had ever reached in my life," he added. "I am relieved that the FIA investigation has now been concluded," Piquet added, apologizing to fans and the FIA.

"Those now running the Renault F1 Team took the decision, as I did, that it is better that the truth be known and accept the consequences.

"I bitterly regret my actions to follow the orders I was given. I wish every day that I had not done it," he said.

"Listening now to Mr Briatore's reaction to my crash and hearing the comments he has made to the press over the last two weeks it is clear to me that I was simply being used by him then to be discarded and left to ridicule," he said.

Piquet said he would have to start his career from scratch and did not expect to be forgiven or forgotten.

"I can only hope that a team will recognise how badly I was stifled at Renault and give me an opportunity to show what I promised in my career in F3 and GP2," he said. "What can be assured is that there will be no driver in Formula One as determined as me to prove myself."


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