Jul.31 (GMM) One of the men closest to Nelson Piquet insists that the Brazilian rookie is now beginning to make progress after his difficult first half-season in formula one.
Despite the 23-year-old's breakthrough podium at Hockenheim two weeks ago, two contemporaries of Piquet's eponymous father - Derek Warwick and Alan Jones - said this week that the youngster appears no match for the triple world champion of the 80s.But Ricardo Penteado, Piquet Jr's engine engineer at Renault, insists that the young driver is now making real progress as he adjusts to life on the grand prix grid."I think that when he arrived in F1, Nelson relied a lot on his natural talent and his innate ability."Then he understood that this was not enough, so he dug deep and worked hard," Penteado said.Penteado, who is also Brazilian, believes the Hockenheim podium - while mainly the fruits of an inspired race strategy - will give Piquet the confidence he needs to continue making progress."The result removes a little pressure," he said."Confidence itself can really make the difference in qualifying, which was where Nelson had difficulties (in Germany)."