Nick Heidfeld, Renault, Melbourne, 2011

Heidfeld knocked out in Q1 after KERS problem

2011 Australian Grand Prix

Nick Heidfeld, Renault, Melbourne, 2011
Nick Heidfeld, Renault, Melbourne, 2011

Nick Heidfeld failed to progress beyond Q1 after experiencing a problem with his Kinetic Energy Recovery System.

Heidfeld said: “I?m disappointed to be starting the season from so far back.

“It wasn?t an easy session and I had a problem with the KERS, which meant I had to change some settings, and that cost me one of my timed laps.”

He also lost some time trying to pass other cars: “There was so much traffic and I tried to find some free space, but it didn?t work out for me.

“It?s bad luck, but I must try and put that behind me now. As we have seen with Vitaly, the car seems to have good pace and the race is wide open, so hopefully I can move forward and fight for points.”

Team mate Vitaly Petrov will start 12 places ahead of his team mate:

“After all the hard work during a very tough winter for the whole team, it feels great to come here and qualify on the third row.

“There was a lot of pressure in Q3 because I only had one run, right at the end of the session. So there were no second chances and I?m glad I was able to deliver the lap.

“The car has felt good right from the start of practice and we?ve improved it constantly during each session. I think we are in a great position for the race and that we can fight for some points tomorrow.

“I?m not too worried about the tyres because they have been working well for us so far and we have not seen the drop off that we saw during winter testing.”

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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35 comments on “Heidfeld knocked out in Q1 after KERS problem”

  1. I am a huge Heidfeld fan – but I remember when he was at BMW – it was always him being held up by people, I’m starting to believe it isn’t coincidence, he can barely go two races without qualifying problems like this. Hope he can fight towards the front in the race.

  2. Hopefully Petrov can actually be consistant this season. On his day in 2010, he was really good, but “his day” didn’t come often enough, that’s what frustrated me the most about him last year.

    As for Heidfeld, I hope he can live up to his and everyone else’s expectations.

      1. Good point PM, and hopefully this car is stronger, we know how Seb likes to bash a kerb or 2, and give those guys in Milton Keynes things to worry about!

        1. It’s far too soon to write the race off as a Red Bull victory. It was reported yesterday that Vettel can possibly do two stops in the race when everyone else will have to do three. Taken at face value, that’s a massive advantage, but when you think about it, there’s still everything to play for. Vettel might be able to do two stops, but what condition will his tyres be in at the end of the race? Does that projection mean he might have to do three or four laps on bad rubber? And how will everyone else pit? Will they all go in as soon as the pace drops off, or will they try and time it to pit just before the drop in performance comes?

          1. Oh yeah, Vettel on worn out rubber, being some 3 seconds slower then someone trying to overtake him. Recipe for succes, I would say!

  3. I hope this is the beginning of a sharper, smarter Petrov. The winter testing seems to have done him a world of good, and he’s ironed out most of those silly little mistakes that were oh-so-costly last year. Furthermore, he’s had the measure of Nick Heidfeld all weekend, and Heidfeld has long been one of those drivers who can make or break a young team-mate. Races like Abu Dhabi appear to have been a major boost to Petrov’s confidence, and rightfully so. If he really has been polished into something of a diamond as today’s performance implies, then I would not be surprised to see him challenge for podiums this year.

    1. Looks like he is bringing the goods. Maybe the Kubica void was just what he needed to grow.
      Now he is looking like maybe being another teammate impressing up against Heidfeld.

      1. Maybe the Kubica void was just what he needed to grow.

        He did say that he wanted to model himself as team leader, even if Renault didn’t ask him to take that role. It looks like the change in attitude has worked for him. Renault’s plans for him – having him move closer to the factory and exapnd his English vocabulary – also appear to have worked. I was reading some comments from him the other day and he was saying things he wouldn’t have a year ago. They’re just little things, but they do seem to go a long way.

        This Renault is a far cry from the Renault pre-2010. Under Briatore, Robert Kubica would have gotten all of the attention and Petrov would have been left to flounder until such time as he found something to show for himself. But under Eric Boullier, they seem to be fully invested in him, and it looks like he’s starting to pay dividends. It’s probably too soon to tell with absolute certainty, but 6th on the grid is his career-best qualifying position. It’s certainly not something most people would have expected from him.

        Given his reputation for being a monster off the line (he cleared two rows of the grid before he collected Hulkenberg at Suzuka last year), he could suprise tomorrow. Fernando Alonso is probably going to grow to hate the sight of that Renault …

  4. Strange that after all these tests KERS is still not under control. I know it’s relatively new, but there’s always all kinds of new stuff.

    On the other hand, I must admit that I didn’t know until this year, what effect KERS can have on braking. Somehow it escaped my attention when it was around last time.

    Benefit of the doubt for Renault here…

  5. There was a lot of pressure in Q3 because I only had one run

    BTW, i don’t understand why Renault did this.
    Throughout whole weekend Petrov set fastest laps on 2nd-3rd laps with soft tyres.

    Why put pressure on him (he was quite inconsistent), when you can give hime some wiggle room.
    I’m sure he could be Alonso’ time in that case.

  6. I was disappointed for Nick but it wasn’t a total shock. To be honest I didn’t know he had traffic and a KERS issue until much later than quali. Great show from Petrov though, I hope he can keep it up.

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