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Piquet at Renault and Lotus?


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#1 Piquet_1

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Posted 01 December 2000 - 20:04

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Does anyone know how these photos came about? Are they really Piquet, or did someone use his helmet. Whatever, I never saw anything about this before.

I can't imagine Schumacher being allowed to try the McLaren during testing this winter...

Any info would be appreciated.

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#2 david_martin

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Posted 01 December 2000 - 21:02

This is just a guess but I suspect it is Nelson and we are, in both cases, looking at the reigning world champion just checking to see whether the grass is any greener on the other side of the hill.

The Lotus looks like an 87 (Paul Ricard ?), and the JPS livery says it is the latter part of the year - which probably makes in the end of '81. Amusingly it might have been Mansell's drive that was on offer to Nelson, his seat was on tender hooks early on in his tenure at Lotus.

The Renault is an RE40, which ran during 1983. The Derek Warwick name on the chassis says it is an end of season test (Jerez?). I would bet that Renault are shopping for a replacement for Alain Prost, who they had just sacked - Warwick had already been signed to replace Eddie Cheever IIRC.

#3 Piquet_1

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Posted 01 December 2000 - 21:21

David_martin,

Yes, you're right about all of that. What strikes me is that he was allowed by both Renault and Lotus, as well as Bernie, to do so in both cases. Was this common practice amoungst drivers at the time, checking out eachothers' rides in pre/post season testing? I never saw anything like that reported in Grand Prix International at the time and they covered said testing pretty well.

I doubt it was even him looking for a ride in either case - Mansell was Chapman's baby at the time (it was the Peter Warr era where Mansell was in a bind). I'd venture it was de Angelis' seat which was up, or just a joy ride. Perhaps he was checking out the Renault seat that Tambay later filled - he was let go by Ferrari just prior to the last race in 83 was probably wasn't signed at the time this picture was taken.

Like I said, can anyone imagine Schumacher just wishing he could take the Mac out for a tour to see if the grass truly was greener?? I'd love to see it happen, but it never would today.

Without a doubt, seeing Piquet's helmet in those cars certainly is strange. Fun, but strange. [p][Edited by Piquet_1 on 12-01-2000]

#4 david_martin

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Posted 01 December 2000 - 21:51

I would think that in both cases Lotus and Renault would have actively sought out Nelson to see if he was interested - and a sample of what the car was like, as well as what the colour of their money was, would have been part of the courtship. I know Alfa-Romeo did that to Alan Jones at the end of the 1980 season. I don't recall what Nelson's contractual obligations at that time were, but the two tests are two years apart. And two years later, at the end of 1985, he did leave Brabham for Williams... a series of 2 year deals with Brabham, perhaps ?

As for Bernie - he may not have known. Remember that for '82 the spectre of BMW turbos loomed large on the horizon at Brabham. Nelson might have been of the opinion that a DFV would be a better choice, given the relatively stormy relationship between Bernie and BMW at that time. Similarly, during 1983 it had been Prost in the Renault that had pushed Nelson the hardest for the title. If his seat was on offer then perhaps Nelson thought it prudent to investigate.

#5 Zawed

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Posted 01 December 2000 - 22:31

Hey, those pics are interesting.. I can't believe that Bernie would have knowingly let Piquet try out the opposition's cars...unless he was having a bit of a spy....

#6 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 01 December 2000 - 23:19

The Piquet in Lotus 87 pic is from Silverstone 1981.
But I can not the recall story behind the test.

Rainer


#7 CVAndrw

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Posted 02 December 2000 - 01:43

Aha! Now we know where Renault got that famous sample of BASF rocket fuel they gave to the FIA- must've scraped it off the seat of Nelson's overalls as he was switching cars.

(And if it was from the seat of Nelson's overalls, it's even more amazing the FIA found said fuel legal!)

#8 CVAndrw

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Posted 02 December 2000 - 01:49

Actually, I wonder if Michelin wasn't the link in the two photos- tire contracts were shifting around back then, Goodyear was out, then back in, Nelson was considered the tire developer par excellance, even better than Lauda or Andretti according to Lee Gaug of Goodyear- were these tire tests?

#9 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 02 December 2000 - 10:31

Could that be Roberto Moreno in the Lotus at Silverstone. He was the Lotus test driver that year and did drive the 87 at a Silverstone test day in late June. There is a photo in the July 2, 1981 edition of Autosport of him sitting in the car with his helemet on the sidepod and it has a very similar design to that on Piquet's helmet.
Weren't Moreno and Piquet mates? If so perhaps he borrowed Piquet's helmet for some reason.


#10 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 07 October 2001 - 07:50

Sorry to drag this old thread back up but I've just found confirmation that it was Moreno, wearing Piquet's helmet, who was driving the Lotus 87.

It happened at the tyre test session at Silverstone three weeks before the 1981 British GP. Moreno had a "test contract" with Lotus and he was asked to check out de Angelis' car after the Italian had phoned to say that airline problems prevented him from getting to the track. Not having his own helmet with him, Moreno borrowed one from his friend and fellow-countryman Piquet.

The story was in GPI No 35, 15 July 1981.

#11 Chico Landi

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Posted 09 October 2001 - 14:05

:confused:

Sorry guys, but my computer wasn't able to open this images and I'm dying too see 'em. Can someone please give the correct URL for the HP were I may find these pictures, or maybe e-mail me them?

Thanks!

#12 Gary C

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Posted 09 October 2001 - 17:40

Thanks Chico! I can't see them either! Thought it was my finger trouble!

#13 William Hunt

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Posted 09 October 2001 - 18:35

Originally posted by Gary C
Thanks Chico! I can't see them either! Thought it was my finger trouble!


Me too , I'm dying to see them !