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. Meander said on 26th March 2011, 10:28

    In before the bashing.

  2. somerandomguy said on 26th March 2011, 10:29

    The Renaults are one of the loudest cars. :)

  3. Ben N said on 26th March 2011, 10:40

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Eggry (@eggry) said on 26th March 2011, 10:47

    Renault KERS doesn’t work reliable in 2009. If Redbull doens’t onboard KERS, this is the reason.

  6. SennaNmbr1 (@) said on 26th March 2011, 11:07

    The race is wide open? Looks like a Red Bull lock-out to me.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th March 2011, 11:22

      Go back to 2010. Check out some of Sebastian Vettel’s conversion statistics. How many times did he win races from pole position?

      • Bigbadderboom said on 26th March 2011, 11:33

        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!

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th March 2011, 12:14

          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?

          • verstappen said on 26th March 2011, 13:56

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

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th March 2011, 11:20

    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.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th March 2011, 11:36

      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.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th March 2011, 12:11

        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 …

  8. Stephen Jones (@aus_steve) said on 26th March 2011, 11:21

    and its funny cause i tipped him to finish 4th..

  9. Damon (@damon) said on 26th March 2011, 11:50

    Okey, so Nick had some problems. But when he’s up to speed in the race, it means some serious “no-rear-wing” overtaking.

  10. Luxo said on 26th March 2011, 12:09

    I don’t think that he will improve… I just hope I’m wrong.

  11. Zarathustra said on 26th March 2011, 12:53

    Seeing how good Renault is, Kubica must be really sad.

    Nick failed this time but I believe he will do better during the race.

  12. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 26th March 2011, 13:05

    Unlucky for Nick, I knew he must have had a problem :P Haven’t Renault had more KERS problems than most so far? Petrov’s back with a vengeance it seems…let’s just hope it stays this way.

  13. Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 26th March 2011, 13:06

    Heidfeld wasn’t just slower in qualifying, Petrov was a lot quicker in all three practice sessions.

    One wonders what Kubica would have made of this car.

  14. verstappen said on 26th March 2011, 14:01

    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…

  15. Calum (@calum) said on 26th March 2011, 16:51

    Vettel and Hamilton pair on front row with broken/refusal to use KERS. :/

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