Heidfeld's chances on returning in 2011


This topic contains 30 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Tom L. 7 years, 2 months ago.

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    I think Schumi will want to do some racing at Mercedes next year. The car will suit him better, he will know the tyres as well as anyone (characteristics he knows from this year, but new rubber from Pirelli!) and he might stay connected with the team for quite some years still. Mercedes would be stupid to pass upon that opportunity for car sales.

    I think Mallya has already stated he is satisfied with both his drivers, so FI only if Sutil moves on to Renault to replace Petrov (Kubica will probably stay for 1 or 2 years depending on their development), but in that case DiResta is more likely.

    Renault will want to keep Petrov after his learning year, even though the management now expect him to start getting points in to help them beat Mercedes. If he does not offer enough for them they might get Sutil, Glock, give Heikki a second chance or get someone like the STR drivers or take a chance with their “test drivers” now in GP2.

    The new teams are no go. Virgin and HRT will want him to bring money instead of earning a salary, maybe getting a bonus for points earned. And Gascoyne is a real fan of Trulli, and Trulli will want to have something to show for his stint at Lotus before quitting. Heikki is sure to stay, only if Renault would be interested he might jump ship.

    If Petrov does get dropped by Renault, i think he would be pretty interesting material for Sauber (with Pedro moving on to a testing role) or he might be of interest to FI and possibly Virgin if they need replacing a driver. His Russian connections might be interesting from a sponsorship view, but the same is true for Renault that seems to be very much into that market.

    So no real opening for Nick, maybe if Merc get back into sportscars he would be a first pick or have a seat in DTM.


    Tom L.

    Steph – re. PDLR, he was quoted as saying “I’m learning, I feel younger as well and if any team wants me for the future I’m available, I am usable, even if I have to go back to testing and being a reserve driver – because I’ve had another year of Formula 1 racing which will extend my career. Simple as that.”

    Interpret that how you will… but if Sauber had wanted to hang onto Nick, they’d have done so first time around.

    The reason I didn’t mention Force India was because I can’t see both their drivers moving on. If Liuzzi were to be dropped, they would presumably sign Di Resta; however, if Sutil were to move team, I think they might keep Liuzzi to keep some continuity in the team and give him the chance to improve (cf. Toro Rosso retaining Bourdais after Vettel left). I can’t see Sutil leaving though, for the simple reason that there’s unlikely to be any better seats available.

    The new teams are obviously not such a great option from Heidfeld’s perspective – but if Luca Colajanni’s comments from the fan forum about supplying a third car to a new team are to be taken seriously, perhaps this might not be such a bad option after all?


    Ned Flanders

    James, on the Saward- Liuzzi love in (as well as his Sutil ‘hate in’), here’s an example from the half term report feature he put on his site today:

    Adrian Sutil. Hmmm. When they handed out natural ability, Sutil was at the front of the queue, at least in terms of his ability to make a car go very fast. Whether he has the capacity to do more than just drive remains to be seen. Sorting out machinery does not appear to be his thing. He has learned not to crash quite as much as he used to do, but he has still not scored as many points as one would have expected this year. Could do better.

    Vitantonio Liuzzi has struggled this year with his machinery but when the cars have been right he has gone very well. He seems to have withstood the pressures of not beating Adrian Sutil enough quite well, but in the second half of the year he needs to outpace the German as much as he can if he wishes to be seen as a man of the future.

    Here’s a few things Joe should consider:

    1. The VJM03 has been ok pretty much all season, but Liuzzi has only gone very well on one weekend

    2. Why exactly does Liuzzi deserve praising for handling being beaten by his team mate well?! It’s ridiculous

    3. Liuzzi may have struggled this year with his machinery, but then he’s struggled with all machinery he’s ever had in F1, so the chances are he’s just plain slow

    4. Sutil “has not scored as many points as expected”?! What, 31 points, 3 times more than his team mate?…



    I don’t think Heidfeld deserves a seat next year.

    Not because he isn’t fast (I’m sure he is), but because he refused to drive

    this year for a smaller team. When I see drivers like Heikki and Timo kicking it off in crappy cars and running circles around their teammates, I think these are the people who deserve the drives. Not the guys who would rather watch the race from the paddock or go rallying because it means more money.



    ” Not the guys who would rather watch the race from the paddock or go rallying because it means more money”

    That is interpretation about motives, Personally, I saw it as Nick finally wanting a chance at a race win and taking a gamble. I actually respected him more for it than admitting he’s just a midfielder but then Schumi went and messed it up. He took a risk now he’s living with it and I doubt he’s happy at missing out on racing.

    Heidfeld said he didn’t know what to think of the new teams as it was impossible to know if they would make it which meant if he signed, he could have lost his seat mid season with no back up plan and maybe trundled round the back of the field and ruined his reputation like Jarno is at the minute. However, as I say it is interpretation and I’m not sure Heidfeld is being paid more for not driving.

    If you’re comparing him to Kimi well why if Kimi was so bothered about money did he go to the WRC where he is probably paid much less in the long run? Ferrari were only giving him the cash to take a year out of a racing but it looks like he’ll be staying there for good now.



    You know Steph,

    Even if these drivers came out and publicly told us their motives, We still would

    all have our different interpretations. You’re right, it probably was the ‘safer’

    move for Nick to go to Mercedes when he did, you just don’t get to see anything from him while he’s there so he’s effectively made himself invisible. It’s hard to see and gauge a drivers potential when they don’t show up and race.

    P.S. Jarno is ruining his reputation because he’s slower than Heikki. If Nick were as fast as he’s believed to be, a drive with any team would have been better (Excluding USGP, that would have been sad).



    “P.S. Jarno is ruining his reputation because he’s slower than Heikki. “

    Aaah but is he really? And if he is, is there that much in it? He’s always finished behind Heikki but he’s only actually finished 3 times. Apart from that I think they’re level on qualifying or at least there’s only one ‘point’ if you will, in it. jarno has also had a DNS. Heikki’s doing a much better job because he looks cheery and seems to have the right attitude while Jarno doesn’t look motivated. Maybe Nick would have been exactly the same.



    Well FI is probably the most interesting moover after Renault, an their drivers are definatley linked. Obviously Liuzzi has been magnificently underwhelming so he’ll probably loose his seat, while Sutil’s been great.

    Basically it depends on Renault, if they offer Sutil the drive an why they’d keep Petrov I don’t know, he’ll probably take it, hard to see Liuzzi keeping his drive an Di Resta will almost certainly replace him. If Glock or someone else gets the Renault seat it’ll be Sutil/Di Resta, I literally don’t know who FI might turn up with, that 2nd seats a mystery. Remember also that FI’s pace next season is highly doubtfull, half their top techies have bolted, it’s not the team on the up it was last season.


    Kubica Sutil/Glock

    Force India

    Di Resta Sutil/?


    Prisoner Monkeys

    Don’t go underestimating the importance of the Renault-Lada deal. Lada is part-owned by the Russian government, and Renault agreed to but a stake in the manufacturer with a view to getting them off the ground. If Renault were to drop Petrov before his time, that could have some serious business consequences for Renault.


    Tom L.

    I also have to disagree with the idea that Jarno is ruining his reputation. In terms of race results, Heikki has had better results, mostly because Jarno has had more than his fair share of the reliability problems.

    Bahrain – Heikki finished in 15th; Jarno was classified 17th despite stopping a few laps from the end with hydraulic issues.

    Australia – Heikki finished 13th; Jarno couldn’t even start due to hydraulics.

    Malaysia – both drivers had hydraulic issues; Jarno finished 17th, 5 laps down; Heikki was running behind, 10 laps down and therefore not classified.

    China – Heikki finished 14th; Jarno retired with hydraulic issues.

    Spain – Jarno finished 17th; Heikki didn’t start due to a gearbox problem.

    Monaco – Heikki retired with a steering problem; Jarno crashed out but was classified 15th.

    Turkey – both cars retired with hydraulic failure.

    Canada – Heikki finished 16th; Jarno retired with a brake problem.

    Valencia – Jarno finished 21st and 4 laps down after pitting to have a gearbox problem repaired; Heikki crashed out.

    So Jarno has had only two races where he wasn’t affected by reliability problems of some sort – in Spain, where he finished ahead of Heikki who couldn’t start; and Monaco, where he crashed out. Heikki on the other hand has had 4 problem-free runs to the finish (plus Valencia as a potential fifth, but because he crashed out early on, there’s no way of knowing if he’d have made the finish).

    What is also apparent is that there has not been a single race when both drivers have been able to race each other to the finish – every time, one or both of the drivers has had a problem.

    So in the absence of any clear-cut race-day comparisons, let’s look at qualifying: it’s currently 5-4 in Jarno’s favour – so they’re as evenly matched as team-mates can be.


    Tom L.

    As to whether Nick would have had motivational issues in a smaller team, I think we only need to look at his sheer determination during his year at Jordan to give us the answer!



    “I also have to disagree with the idea that Jarno is ruining his reputation. In terms of race results, Heikki has had better results, mostly because Jarno has had more than his fair share of the reliability problems.”

    I’ve said numerous times on this site that Jarno and Heikki are quite closely matched but that has nothing to do with reputation or how people feel about Jarno now. He’s had his career, is in a tiny team and yet many,many posters say he shoudl retire and he has had his day despite the close results and Heidfeld would run the same risk especially enxt to young Heikki.

    “As to whether Nick would have had motivational issues in a smaller team, I think we only need to look at his sheer determination during his year at Jordan to give us the answer! “

    If he was so determined to race then he would have had much more lengthy discussions and negotiations with them. All Nick ever said was that he wasn’t even looking at the new teams as he didn’t know where they would be. Plus, his time at Jordan was years ago when he had to do it, when he had to show ir. People should recognise his talent by now and want to hire him rather than him giving himself a demotion and starting again.



    I think it is telling, that Peter Sauber was not even showing interest in Heidfeld at the end of the year.

    Sure, Heidfeld chose Mercedes hoping he would get the drive as Schumi was all but confirmed, but his neck was not 100%. But he wasn’t into the equation at Renault and did not even want to try getting a new team to the front. So now Schumi seems to be getting along one way or another, this is where it ends for Heidfeld.


    Tom L.

    Steph – that’s a fair point about Nick’s Jordan year being long ago. I really have no idea how motivated he is now compared to a few years ago so I’ll reserve judgement.



    Tom I’m loving this topic by the way; I like speculating and big Nick fan. I am very cynical though so whatever I say, dilute it a thousand percent :P

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