Frenchman Grosjean named as new Renault driver

French driver Romain Grosjean will replace Nelson Piquet Jr. behind the wheel of a Renault at Sunday's European Grand Prix.

The Formula One team said today in a statement that Piquet's departure follows a "mutual agreement that this course of action is in the best interests of both parties."



Grosjean will race alongside Fernando Alonso at the European GP in Valencia, Spain, and for the remainder of the 2009 season.



"I am very proud that the Renault F1 Team has given me the chance to become a race driver," Grosjean said. "I'm looking forward to driving the R29 and helping the team get the best results possible.



"It's also an honor to be Fernando's teammate and to make my Formula One debut alongside a double world champion is especially motivating."



The 23-year-old Grosjean became part of Renault's Driver Development program in 2006 after winning the French Formula Renault title. In 2007, he was Formula 3 Euro Series champion, and in 2008 he won the GP2 Asia Series. This season he has been competing in the GP2 Series with Barwa Addax.



"We are happy to give Romain the chance to start racing with the team," Renault managing director Flavio Briatore said. "He is an impressive young talent and we expect him to show his skills driving alongside Fernando as we take an aggressive approach to the second half of the season.



"We would also like to thank Nelson for his contribution during the time he has been with us and wish him all the best for the future."



Lucas Di Grassi of Brazil will be Renault's third driver in Valencia, while continuing his GP2 series campaign.

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