Heidfeld named as Kubica replacement - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 06:59 AM Thread Starter
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Heidfeld named as Kubica replacement

Heidfeld named as Kubica replacement - F1 | ITV Sport


Wednesday, 16 February 2011 17:51

Nick Heidfeld has been confirmed as the replacement for the injured Robert Kubica at Lotus Renault for the new season, after impressing the team in his test run-out at Jerez last weekend.

The veteran German appeared to all but seal the stand-in role for his former BMW team-mate after topping the times in his debut appearance for the Enstone squad on Saturday.

Heidfeld, who has competed in 172 grands prix but was a free agent after leaving Sauber at the end of last year, admits he’d rather his return to a race seat had come about for different reasons, but is pleased Renault has turned to him to replace Kubica and says he already feels comfortable within the team and its promising new R31 car.

“I would have liked to come back to Formula 1 in different circumstances, but I’m proud to have been given this chance,” he said.

“Everything has happened so quickly, but I’ve been very impressed by what I have seen so far in terms of the facilities and the dedication of the people at Enstone.

“I really enjoyed the test last week in Jerez and I’ve already settled in well with the guys at the track.
“I have a good feeling for the car, which is quite innovative. I’m extremely motivated and can’t wait for the season to begin.”

With Renault team boss Eric Boullier indicating in the days after Kubica’s horrible rallying accident in Italy that the team was going to need an experienced driver to partner Vitaly Petrov, the 33-year-old Heidfeld was clearly the front-running candidate on a shortlist that also included Tonio Liuzzi and Bruno Senna.

Boullier thinks Heidfeld is the “ideal man for the job” having seen him working at close quarters at Jerez and thinks the German and Petrov represent a strong pairing for the foreseeable future while Kubica undergoes his recovery programme.

“The team has been through a very difficult couple of weeks and we had to react quickly,” the Frenchman said.

“We gave Nick a chance in Jerez last week and he really impressed us.

“He’s quick, experienced and is very strong technically with his feedback and understanding of the car.

“We always said the priority was to have an experienced driver in the car and we feel he is the ideal man for the job. We are pleased to welcome Nick to the team and look forward to a strong start to the season with him and Vitaly in Bahrain.”

Heidfeld will make his second appearance for the team on Friday morning at the start of the Barcelona test, before getting full days in the R31 on Saturday and Monday.

The extent of Kubica’s injuries to the right-hand side of his body mean Heidfeld’s Renault stay looks likely to be for at least the majority of the season, although the recovering Pole has expressed his determination to return to action before the 20-race campaign is out in mid-November.

Kubica was due to have his final scheduled surgery on Wednesday, with his doctors in Italy happy that he is in generally good shape considering his injuries which included multiple fractures and a partially severed right hand.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 09:34 AM
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Doesn't surprise me.

Get well soon RK.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Well, after it looked like Heidfeld had run out of chances, he gets a (hopefully) competitive car.
I am sure he'll give his best.

After showing flashes of brilliance, too bad Hulkenberg has been left on the side lines.
I would like to see him in a competitive car.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Teutone View Post
After showing flashes of brilliance, too bad Hulkenberg has been left on the side lines.
I would like to see him in a competitive car.
Agreed, I think he has a future.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Agreed, I think he has a future.
I am old enough to remember the many years without German drivers in F1.
We Germans did the next best thing, and supported Austrian Niki Lauda.
Now, the 'over abundance' of German F1 pilots may work against Heidfeld, Hulkenberg, and German advertising money / sponsorship has perhaps too many choices.

BTW, France had a tradition of producing great F 1 drivers, what the hell happened?
Jean Pierre Beltoise had injured / broken one of his arms in so many places and shattered the elbow joint, he had the arm permanently arrested to hold a steering wheel.
I remember him punching out a TV reporter at the Zandvoort race track.
F1 used to have truly colorful personalities.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 04:02 PM
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Political correctness won't allow any more colorful characters, I'm afraid.

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