Just one week after being announced as a 2008 race driver for the ING Renault F1 Team, Nelson Piquet Jr accompanied Renault President and CEO Carlos Ghosn as they met Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil.

The meeting took place in the nation's capital Brasilia, which is also home to Nelsinho's family. After being introduced to President Lula following a meeting between the Brazilian President and Carlos Ghosn, Nelsinho answered questions from a large group of local media gathered to meet the young driver and the Renault President.

Following a photo call with the Renault Sandero, the five-door saloon which has been developed for growth markets in South America and around the world, and which will be assembled in Renault's Curitiba factory; Nelsinho fielded questions from more than 300 Renault guests and members of the company's sales network in Brazil. The employees had the opportunity to meet the young driver, and discuss his career, his job and his expectations for next season.

Carlos Ghosn: "Brazilians need to know that Renault is also a Brazilian company with a local facility, in Curitiba. Having a Brazilian driver will undoubtedly helps to raise the Renault brand awareness on this market which is really important to us. I am then really pleased to see Nelsinho driving for our Formula One team next year and I am confident with Fernando Alonso they will be able to fight at the top of the field in 2008."

Nelson Piquet Jr: "I am honoured to have the opportunity to be here today with Carlos Ghosn and to meet President Lula. This is my first appearance since being announced as an ING Renault F1 Team race driver for 2008, and it's even more special because we are in my family's home town. I can already see how being a race driver changes things for the people I meet in terms of their enthusiasm."

"I received a fantastic welcome from Renault Brasil, who organised the whole day. As a driver, it is always enjoyable to meet other people working for Renault around the world; but if I'm completely honest, I can't wait to resume my preparations for next season, and to hit the track as soon as possible."

-credit: renault