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DATE News (chronologically)
08/20/09
f1
Piquet ousted due to team relationship breakdown - Alonso  (GMM) Fernando Alonso on Thursday said he believes his former teammate Nelson Piquet was ousted only because of a breakdown in his relationship with Renault management.

Brazilian Piquet, who has been replaced by the similarly 23-year-old Romain Grosjean for the European grand prix and beyond, branded boss Flavio Briatore an "executioner" but also said his specification of car was rarely up to date with Alonso's.

"We always had the same car –- this has to be clear," Spaniard Alonso told reporters in the Spanish port city Valencia.

Double world champion Alonso, 27, had his own falling out with McLaren team management prior to returning to Renault last year.

He said of Piquet's foundered F1 career: "Obviously something went wrong on the human side with him in the team."

The French-Swiss GP2 driver Grosjean has now taken over Piquet's car number 8, but he refused to say anything negative about Briatore when also asked about the situation on Thursday.

"I know (Flavio's) asking a lot from drivers but on the other side I'm now in formula one," Grosjean said.

Alonso said he expects Piquet will get a second chance to demonstrate his talent in F1, but Grosjean admitted that while he is not feeling the pressure to perform, this is his opportunity to demonstrate he belongs on the grid.

"You're never assured of anything in formula one," he acknowledged.

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