Nick Heidfeld, Renault, Nurburgring, 2011

Renault and Heidfeld formally split

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nick Heidfeld, Renault, Nurburgring, 2011
Nick Heidfeld, Renault, Nurburgring, 2011

Renault and Nick Heidfeld have formally announced they have parted ways.

A statement released on Friday said the pair had reached “an amicable settlement” and split with immediate effect.

Team principal Eric Boullier said: “Our disagreement with Nick has been the subject of much media coverage lately, and we are pleased to have reached a swift and reasonable solution.

“Our separation process was already a painful one, and neither of us wanted to go through another legal hearing. We?re very grateful to Nick for the highly valuable contribution he?s made to the team. We certainly had good times together, in particular remembering our podium finish in Malaysia.

“He is a very strong and determined racer and we wish him every success in the future.”

Heidfeld said: “Obviously I?m disappointed to be leaving Lotus Renault GP in the middle of the season.

“I thought I could still make a big contribution to the team, but I have to see things as they are and I want to turn my attention to the future. We have taken the right decision by choosing to end our collaboration today.

“I would like to wish all the friends I made at Enstone a successful end to the season. One thing is for sure – I?ll be back racing at the highest level soon.”

Heidfeld joined the team at the start of the season to substitute for the injured Robert Kubica. Heidfeld was replaced by Bruno Senna at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Update: Renault have also announced Bruno Senna will continue to drive for them for the rest of the year

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80 comments on “Renault and Heidfeld formally split”

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  1. I always hate how teams get rid of drivers right before a big upgrade. Then, they put the new driver in a much more competitive car and blame the old drive who had suffered with slow car for most of the season. I mean, Heidfeld and Petrov weren’t getting past Q2 in qualifying for a while, and after the upgrade for Spa, both Senna and Petrov make it to Q3. Does that mean Senna is better than Heidfeld. NO! That means the upgrades worked.

    I wish Nick would have gotten the Mercedes drive last year instead of Schumacher. Schumacher’s return from retirement has been a waste of a decent F1 seat.

    1. It is indeed an annoying trend.

    2. Schumi’s performances haven’t been that good, but is still forever a big name. Heidfeld is a nobody in comparison, and isn’t exactly a Hamilton, Alonso or Vettel.

  2. “Recent rumblings make me feel the Barrichello-Williams relationship may or may not continue into 2012.”

    “The alternative being?“

    Well “If he goes then Heidfeld is surely a good replacement.“ Whilst unspectacular he usually delivers some good points and is experienced. Depends on Williams’ financial situation though as others have said, as they may want another young driver who can bring some funding..

    IF one driver leaves Williams at the end of the season, it seems more likely to me that it will be Barrichello than Maldonado..

  3. He’s just so dull

  4. This has been coming hasn’t it? With all respect, Heidfeild hasn’t done a great job this season, and while his drives from the back have been good, the fact is that he shouldn’t be starting there. He should also be well clear of Petrov.

    His experience and technical nous would make him an asset to one of the new teams, but I can now see him going to sports cars or DTM. Renault really was his last chance and it’s time to move on. While it’s a shame he’s never won, some things were never meant to be.

  5. Not sure whether Nick will ever come back in a high standard team but it’s good to see both him & Renault fixed things between then without too much noise.

  6. I won’t miss him if he doesn’t come back to f1.
    He’s had his chance @BMV, and now Renault, where he failed to impress, apart from his start in Malaysia.
    There are pilots i find interesting, lively (ex. Hamilton, KOB, Webber) and others that don’t spark the slightest hint of enthusiasm from me (Him , Sutil…)

    Maybe Renault wamt to have a real-life test of B. Senna, so that they can figure out what to do with R. Grosjean ?

  7. is very bad by lotus to ban the heidfeild becoise he is very good driver and experince in many f1 car since 2000. is because he is german reno removed it? and reno is france and they wanting french driver roman gorjean? is very very bad if it is they want to give prefrence on national basis. heidfild is even got a podium in sepang and rocket start to 2nd place even petrov is not so good compare with heidfiel. poor heidfiel is betrayed by reno & eric boiler.senna got seat only because of his name, he is no special & dont know how to develop car. reno car always catching fire & that too only in nick’s car. why? I think reno sabortaged the car of nick to get rid of nick. But nick is very decent person. cheap tactic from eric boiler. did he learn this trick from flavio briatorie? i always support reno from the days of benetton, but now i change my mind.nick heildfiel leaving reno is a loss to them. nick is a good driver and very consistent, he beat alesi,raikkonen,HH frentzen,webber,kubika in the past & was even beating petov. i think reno dont want german association so they dump him to hire roman gosjean. I will not support reno from today.

    1. What a pathetic comment…

      Is it because he’s german that they hired him in the first place ?
      And what do Mercedes do about national preferences, when you are so comcerned about your german driver ? Don’t they play the national card ?
      And you truly think they’ll put fire to their own car, just to get rid of the driver they hired ???

      1. What is so pathetic in my comment gwenoullie? is open fact that reno is preference french pilot. but no good french pilot is been borned since alan prost. roman gorjean is not so good & is no experince in car development.

        as for mercedes, one driver is 7 times champion & the other is a definete future champion.

        Yes I truly think heidfield car is not same specification as petrov. reno always do this even during benetton days. ask brundle,jos vestrappen, johnny herbert, trulli, fisichella, kovialailenen, piquet jr. but is not good eh? boooo

        1. On what ground can you say that Grosjean isn’t good ?
          Didn’t Petrov get a 2nd place too ?
          Do you really think that if Heidfeld was such a gem at car developping they’d fire him ?

          Enough for me…

  8. It’s a very complex situation, and as I feel it totally unfair from the personal and professional aspects delivered by Renault and especially Boullier, from managerial and financial aspects it does make sense.

    Bringing in some new upgrades for a GP? That’s fine. But who helped the engineers developing those parts? Not Senna with his friday drive in Hungary, not Petrov who had 2 fine races in a row in his whole career, not the injured Kubica. Must have been Heidfeld with his 10 seasons experience.

    Suffering in a car which was starting to be developed with Kubica last year? Tells a lot.

    Shining in a car which was starting to be developed with Alonso back in 2009? Tells a lot.

    Fishing in trooubled water at a rainy qualification? It’s not much more than Winkelhock was able to do back in 2007 leading the European GP. But at least Winkelhock didn’t ruined another guys race just 100 meters from the start.

    I have nothing against Senna, he was ignored for such a long time, and it’s natural that he wants drive finally, and I’m actually happy to see him racing again. The thing that I’m against is the way Boullier and the media make these happenings look like and explanations were kind of bullsh_t.

    I don’t really see where could he join next year, or even this year. I could see maybe Force India, that might lose Adrian Sutil to Williams, and if they don’t want to compete without an experienced driver, Nick could be the right choice alongside with either Hülkenberg or di Resta.

    I’m curious what’s next, and I’m furious how F1 drivers with no deep pocket treated…

  9. His case was somewhat pointless to begin with anyway. Let´s say he won the case and got his driving seat back… how do you think the team would treat him? I understand his bitterness but it made no sense to try and get his seat back through legal action.

    1. That’s exactly what I thought.

  10. Well I’m glad we don’t have to go through any legal wranglings, always gets tiring as a fan of the sport.

    I really don’t see what Renault’s justification was for this.

  11. But the Renault seems to be prone to legal wranglings lately :)
    I’ll just repeat myself from before, I don’t like the way Eric is managing the team. I’d fire him, bring in Sam Michael if possible. Renault should take a year off. Bring Toyota, Ford, Jaguar or even Peugot instead. :)

  12. Considering the Renault started the season strongly but went backwards since then, should Heidfeld take some of the blame for this? Maybe his input wasn’t good at all?

  13. Nick started F1 in 2000 – same time as Jenson Button. He has yet to win a race in his 10 years in F1 (not 11 years as he lost his seat in 2010). 10 years in F1 is a considerable amount of time and one would expect some decent results, but instead his team mates have always moved on and achieved better results – re: Webber, Kubica, Raikkonen & Massa – all of which have won races. Honestly it’s time for Nick to hang up his F1 ambitions and look at IndyCar or DTM – he’ll likely to get more success out of those categories than against the current crop in F1.

  14. As much as I think Nick is a fantastic driver, and deserves to be in F1 over all these pay-drivers, the only team I think he could go to in 2012 would be Williams, replacing Barrichello, that way Williams would still get the sponsorship money from Maldonado and have an experienced driver…remember that Williams are using Renault engines from next year – maybe this has something to do with Renault and Heidfeld’s settlement – that he drives “at the top level soon” with the Williams team! Well here’s hoping!

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