Piquet's days numbered (GMM) Even before Nelson Piquet beached his Renault in the gravel during 'Q1' on Saturday, speculation that his seat is still in danger was floating around the Istanbul paddock.
The latest rumor is that the Brazilian has been given until next month's Hungarian grand prix, to be staged the day after his 24th birthday, to prove he should remain Fernando Alonso's teammate for the rest of 2009.
Alonso has scored all of Renault's 11 points so far this season, but in Turkey Piquet vowed not to let the negativity get him down.
"Criticism is going to be around my whole life, so it's nothing that bothers me; it won't make me go quicker or slower," said Piquet, whose famous father and namesake won three world championships and 23 grands prix.
Nelson Piquet Jr made his debut alongside Alonso, and with the unforgiving Flavio Briatore at the helm of the Enstone based team, in 2008.
"I have been through a lot of tough moments the last two years," he admitted. "I have a hard team, a hard boss and a hard teammate which is going to help me a lot in the future."
Worsening the speculation about Piquet's future is the increasingly high profile of team reserve driver Romain Grosjean, who watches the action at races from the Renault pitwall.
"I know there are plenty of other drivers hitting the door wanting to come in, so it's normal for a team to put pressure on a driver -- but then I put the pressure on myself, although this is not enjoyable right now," Piquet continued.
"I am sure my day will arrive when I get more comfortable, get more experience and Renault progress into a better shape or I get into a car that is quicker," he added.