Renault and Heidfeld formally split

2011 F1 season

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

  1. Mahir C said on 2nd September 2011, 19:11

    Well, there is always Sauber, saviour of old unwanted F1 drivers :)
    But I think we have seen the last of Heifeld in F1, I cant see how he is going to comeback. The last season would have been his last if it weren’t for the accident of Kubica.
    I am sad for Kubica, when he comeback he will find Renault a long way from the team in 2010. That team seems to be going nowhere.

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 2nd September 2011, 23:29

      Sauber seems to have a set line up now though. After giving both Heidfeld and De la Rosa chances, they seem quite happy with Kobayashi and Perez, which is a great, young lineup.

    • Klaas said on 3rd September 2011, 7:30

      Sauber saviour of unwanted F1 drivers? I always thought Sauber was the “spawning pool” of future F1 stars – Raikkonen, Kubica, Vettel, Kobayashi, Perez (maybe)…

      • Mahir C said on 3rd September 2011, 19:14

        Yeah but there are also Heinz Herald Frentzen, Pedro Delarosa and Heifeld. All 3 of them had effectively finished their career when Sauber hired them.

  2. I really can’t see Heidfeld going anywhere apart from DTM, unless someone at (say) HRT or Lotus gets injured and another driver is needed on a one-off basis. Certainly the teams that have been mentioned so far are dependent on paying drivers, Williams being a case in point – should Rubens retire at the end of this year, they’ll be after a younger driver who can bring in some more sponsorship. Like Bruno Senna.

  3. Maybe he can take dambrosio’s seat at virgin, how is his contract situation?

  4. Ian Jolicoeur said on 2nd September 2011, 20:02

    I’d like to see this guy retire from F1. Too many up and comers these days bringing a lot of sponsorship money to the table, not to mention driving talent.

    Not so sure it was Nick’s driving… The Renault started off the season very well with Petrov, but seemed to have fallen back. Shame Senna binned it in the first corner at Spa, could’ve had a very good finish indeed…

  5. Lucas "Mr. Veloce" said on 2nd September 2011, 21:06

    Nick is so unlucky, he ought to get good seats like at the start of 2010, he was linked to drive alongside Nico Rosberg at Mercedes GP or alongside Kamui Kobayashi at Sauber but those seats were taken by two old goats who were already past it. I personally think Nick Heidfeld is one of the most under rated drivers in F1. I hope someone signs him.

  6. F1 Fan said on 2nd September 2011, 22:01

    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.

  7. Sandlefish (@sandlefish) said on 2nd September 2011, 22:25

    “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..

  8. John H said on 2nd September 2011, 23:21

    He’s just so dull

  9. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 3rd September 2011, 0:10

    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.

  10. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 3rd September 2011, 3:00

    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.

  11. Gwenouille said on 3rd September 2011, 9:29

    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 ?

  12. 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.

    • Gwenouille said on 3rd September 2011, 10:55

      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 ???

      • 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

        • Gwenouille said on 3rd September 2011, 20:28

          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…

  13. AndrewT (@andrewt) said on 3rd September 2011, 11:25

    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…

  14. Roald (@roald) said on 3rd September 2011, 14:47

    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.

  15. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 3rd September 2011, 19:58

    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.

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