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Force India needs more time: Piquet Jr

india Updated: Nov 09, 2008 19:39 IST

Force India thinktank might be disappointed not to have earned a single point in their debut Formula One season but Renault driver Nelson Piquet Junior urged for patience and said with time, the Vijay Mallaya-owned F1 team could become a force to reckon with.

Force India finished last in the just-concluded F1 team championship this season, with their best performance coming from ace Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella who managed 10th spot in the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this year.

"It is not easy to buy a team and perform from the word go. Force India put up a decent performance this season. They need a few more years, new developments, new sponsors to score points," Piquet Jr said at the ING Renault F1 road show at the Capital's Rajpath here today.

"Even no team, be it Renault, McLaren or others, performed exceptionally in the first season. But with time, they have become a formidable force in the F1 circuit," added Piquet Jr, son of three-time World Champion Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet.

Meanwhile, Piquet Jr also advocated the idea of including more night races -- which made its debut in the Singapore GP in September -- in the F1 calendar, and said he and his fellow drivers were at ease at the Marian Bay circuit and did not encounter any visionary problems.

"It (the night race in Singapore) was very interesting. It was a very good idea to conduct the race at night, something that can have a long-term future.

"For drivers, racing at night doesn't really make any difference as the vision was as clear as daytime. It is also beneficial from the spectators point of view also. The sport needs such new innovations," he said.

Although Piquet Jr finished 12th in the drivers standings in his debut season with 19 points and a podium finish, securing the second place in the German GP behind champion Lewis Hamilton, the 23-year-old Brazilian seemed dissatisfied.

"I am not 100 per cent satisfied with my performance this season. But it was my first year in the F1 circuit and I have learnt a lot. I am expecting completely different results next season."

Asked whether he and his high-profile team-mate Fernando Alonso failed to give Renault the desired start last season, Piquet Jr said, "I don't think we fell back. The car last year was not that great. We are going to have new cars next year but the new ones will not be provided to us straightway. We will only get them in January and from there our test stars.

"I hope next year we are gonna start much better and hopefully get more podium finishes."

Renault struggled in the initial phases, however, with a few good results towards the end of the season, they managed to finish fourth with 80 points in the overall team standings.

Piquet Jr and his countrymate and Renault's Test driver Lucas di Grassi were in the Capital to take part in the ING Renault Road Show which showcases different sports cars of the company, including F1 cars, Meagane Trophy cars, Toon cars and that of the Logan cars. The event was also part of the 700-day countdown to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

While Piquet Jr and Di Grassi burnt rubber on the Rajpath riding their FI cars, renowned Hollywood stunt driver Terry Grant enthralled the crowd with his amazing donuts.

Other professional drivers from Renault also displayed their skills in tyre burnouts.

The ING Renault F1 team roadshow is a multi-city world tour conducted in five to six cities across the world every year. It has already been to cities like Johannesburg, Mexico, Istanbul, Moscow, Kiev, Paris, Lyon and Warsaw.