Senna, Heidfeld and Liuzzi in frame for Kubica’s drive

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Renault team principal Eric Boullier has named Bruno Senna, Nick Heidfeld and Vitantonio Liuzzi as possible replacements for Robert Kubica.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

I vertici Renault da Kubica: ??Lo aspettiamo entro la fine della stagione?? (

Eric Boullier says: “The names at stake are Senna, Liuzzi and Heidfeld.”

Sebastian Vettel Head and Shoulders Ad

The ‘weltmeister’ is flogging shampoo. But who’s that pinned up in his locker? YouichiHophop worked it out:

“Seb’s pic is Rudolf Caracciola winning the 1936 Monaco GP at the wheel of a Mercedes Benz W25.”

Thanks to raymondu999 for the tip.

Robert Kubica crash 3D animation (YouTube)

Another impression of what happened to Kubica.

Edd Straw on Twitter

“One-time Grand Prix starter Luiz Bueno passed away today at the age of 74. He started one world championship race – Brazil 1973 for Surtees.”

Ajokay via Twitter

Here’s Ajokay’s plan for an F1 Fanatic-sponsored HRT. The photo on the side pod vane is a nice touch!:

F1 Fanatic HRT
F1 Fanatic HRT

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

GeeMac argues for Bruno Senna to get the Renault drive:

He?s the one with the contract that says he?ll step up if something happened to one of the race drivers. But we all know that driver contracts aren?t really worth the paper they are written on in F1.

Many people dismiss him because of a poor season with HRT, but he had the backing of Honda once upon a time and had Honda not pulled out would have been Button?s team mate in 2009.

Everyone says he was nuked by his team mates last year and that simply isn?t true, the figures were actually Bruno 7 – Team mate 8 in races where they both finished, and Bruno was often ahead when he retired. That aside he is a quality driver, and he deserves a fair crack at F1. Mind you, the same can be said of Grosjean, Hulkenberg and Di Grassi.

From the forum

McLaren’s plan to run an F1 car around the classic Bathurst track has generated lots of interest. How long do you think it will take an F1 car to lap the circuit?

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Force India launched what turned out to be their most successful F1 car so far on this day last year:

91 comments on “Senna, Heidfeld and Liuzzi in frame for Kubica’s drive”

  1. What, exactly, does “perfekt pasta” have to do with dandruff?

    1. I’ve transcribed for you (still doesn’t make a lot of sense):

      Q: Sebastian, what do you think about as World Champion?
      A: Pure passion, super results, highest concentration, monumental ambition, perfect pasta. What do I think about? Definitely not dandruff, thanks to the worldwide number one anti-dandruff shampoo.

    2. Lol, German adds appear to have their own brand of awful. Not that I watch many German adds but when I see them? All the same, all slightly odd and shiny. All probably awful.

      1. You sir are .. absolutely correct. Most German ads are horrible (which sadly is due to the german audience, because German ad production companies regularly win many prices for the work they do outside Germany, so it can’t really be their fault for being bad at making ads) but this one really stands out. On the other hand, whenever I see Vettel on TV I feel its kind of awkward.

        1. Worst is in the Netherlands a lot of commericals for things like shampoo and washing powder are revoiced German ads.
          A lot of Dutch ads are actually quite interesting as companies try out new things in the smaller market before taking them in bigger campains.

          1. So my dream of starrin in an anti dandruff shampoo ad has been quashed, now it seems the minimm entry requirem is one F1 Driver’s Title? :(

            Button has been in Haed and Shoulder’s ad since 2009.
            Seb has just starte his shampoo ad campaign.

          2. Talking about bad shampoo ads:

            Youtube: Schumacher l’oreal

            They even dubbed his voice for someone else with a foreign accent?!?!?

    3. It’s a hidden message to Ferrari. He wants to make clear that he will fit just fine because he likes pasta.

      1. Hehe, or it is a kind of salt in the wound, telling Ferrari, that if they had made their pasta perfect up to the last race, they wouldn’t have missed out on the title….
        But generally commercials are lousy.


    Here’s a link to what Boullier actually said (at 1.04). He mentions these drivers but also says that others are on the list too (in fact, it was the journalists question that mentioned the drivers). Its not a closed list yet

    1. Good find! seen them three mentioned different places. If it all came from that interview it’s not the greatest of journalism is it.

    2. Its not a closed list yet

      At the same time, it’s pretty telling that Boullier only saw fit to name three drivers. Last time he did something like this was when he was discussing who would fill the seat that ultimately went to Vitaly Petrov this year. He named a few drivers, and said there were more, but it ultimately went to a driver he named.

      That said, I’ve seen a lot of Kimi Raikkonen fans take Boullier’s comments as undeniable, infallible proof that not only is Raikkonen on Renault’s shortlist of drivers, but that he’s already been signed on to race for them.

      1. Not really, if you look at that sequece, you have the reporter asking weather Senna, Heidfeld and Liuzzi are being considered. He answers Yes these three and others. Far from mentioning only these 3, he would not have given any names by himself (safe possibly Senna as he is obviously there)

      2. Boullier never stated those names specifically, the reporter did in asking the question. The web page quotes him incorrectly for the sake of the story. What their site says he said is:

        “We were about a quarter of an hour with Robert: we joked and we found it very well. Of course he immediately wanted to know the team schedules for this season. The first race will be at our first test. Meanwhile, we will search for the replacement of Kubica. The names at stake are those of the Senna, Liuzzi and Heidfeld. The team is close to Robert, we are waiting with open arms and hope he can return by the end of the season.”

        (courtesy of Google Translate)

        He never said that. I don’t believe the above to be from another interview because the rest of the quote fits the video linked by sw6569 (bear in mind translation to and from English).

    3. Thanks for posting it here. I was on the brink of doing that myself.

      Boullier does not name anyone, the journalist asks him for these 3 and he confirms they are on the list, among others also on the shortlist.

  3. oh and if what happened in that 3d animation is true then that is horrific. Certainly calls for the safety of the event to be looked at! great find

    1. If the animation is correct, it’s not the safety of the event that need to be looked at, but rather the safety of every piece of road that has an Armco barrier installed on it.

      Armco barriers, are meant to be bolted together to form one continuous barrier, so that when a vehicle hits it, the barrier deflects around the car (like in this video from 1 minute in, rather than one section deflecting and the other impaling itself on a car. From the animation it looks as if this isn’t the case.

      From the animation it looks as if two sections of barrier were not bolted together, or the bolts failed on impact, or maybe the lapping over of each section was in the wrong direction. Either way it’s a serious safety issue for all motorists, on all roads. How many other sections of Armco have the same problem?

      1. worryingly, virtually the entire british motorway system uses this design and there is no way the government could afford to replace it

        1. I saw a section the other day that worked very well. On the A1(M) outside Stevenage in Herts. A proper bit articulated lorry has, for whatever reason, had ended up scraping along the central reservation’s armco barrier for 200 meters or so.

          Thats a lot of lorry and a fair distance, and the barrier has simply taken the hit, keeled over slightly, but at no point had it seperated from any other part.

          So they must work, and when you see a motorway accident where they have been hit, you rarely see a section that’s seperated, I know I never have.

          For whatever reason, this section either wasn’t bolted, or the bolts did fail. I hear the co-driver raised concerns about it after the sighter run thingy.

      2. I agree, after seeing that I mentioned the enormous task for Jean Todt to take this matter up an really look at road safety.

        According to the co-driver there was a breach in the guardrail. Thinking about how many people get injured or worse each day, we are much too complacent about these kind of things.

      3. in my opinion, what Pinball said isn’t just quote of the day, its quote of the year already.

      4. Precisely. Had the guard rail not splitted, I think Kubica would have not reported a single injury.

      5. Maybe the barriers on a slow mountain road aren’t built to withstand a high speed rally car running into it?

    2. ive read on polish web that there was a gap in the barrier. it probably was not even connected :/

  4. That shampoo advert is pure gold. Absolute classic! It’s confirmed my long held suspicion that Formula 1 drivers do indeed sit of bunches of tyres all day.

      1. Vytamins? Hrm, never heard it pronounced that way…

        1. It’s the American English pronunciation.

          1. I live in america and we pronounce it Vita-Mins. Thats a strange way to pronounce it…

          2. I think you’ll find thats the English-English pronunciation!

          3. for sure English-English…but they also spell tire, tyre…so who knows? :)

          4. In America it’s Vite-a-mens and i think in the UK its vitt-a-mens.

          5. Americans = Vite (rhymes with white) – amens
            English = Vit – amens

            In Australia however, depending on your education and upbringing it is either, generally those who are scholars and achieve high academic performances pronounce it the “American” way as Australia has a much stronger relationship with America then it does with England.
            Source: B. of Physics at the Melbourne University, part time lecturing at Cambridge University, so I could argue that I have had my fair share of experience in the field.

          6. @Prof Kirk
            That’s pretty interesting actually. In North America, it’s British pronunciations that are associated with higher education – even though it’s really more in the ‘ivory tower’ stereotype vein. In Canada I guess we have our own thing, where we pronounce like Americans, but spell like Brits (sort of anyways). I’m curious – does the ‘American shift’ in Australia apply across the board; I mean do more educated Australians really tend towards a US accent? Anyhoo, just letting my language nerdiness run wild here.

    1. That shampoo advert is pure gold. Absolute classic! It’s confirmed my long held suspicion that Formula 1 drivers do indeed sit of bunches of tyres all day.

      Noting beats the Canberra Milk Kid.

      1. That must be the best ever produced ad. Once I see it, I have to see it at least 15 more times, it’s too catching! In fact I didn’t want to click the link, but now I’ll spend the next 5 minutes listening over and over again!

  5. his hair doesn’t look that good at the end :P!

  6. Liuzzi in the line for the drive? Please, he was beaten by a far better driver last season, and wasnt inspirational against other team mates. For me, it’s either Senna or Heidfield. They’re the only logical choices anyway

    1. Agreed 100% and I don’t think Force India is dying to get rid of Sutil…

    2. Yep. I do not think Luizzi will be a great addition to the team. He was amongst the poorest performing drivers on the grid last year, and I really doubt that he will be a phenomenal enough car developer to Renault. I think everyone wants to see Kimi, but I really doubt that is going to happen.
      To me, the logical choice is between Heidfeld and Senna. I would be glad to see Heidfeld given his last shot in a reasonably competitive drive, and I would also be happy to see Senna prove himself in a decent car.

    3. For me, it’s either Senna or Heidfield.

      Well those are the two that they’ll be testing this weekend in Jerez! Can’t wait to see how Bruno does. If he’s as quick as Nick I’m guessing they’ll take a chance on him…

  7. So Keith, does F1 Fanatic sponsoring HRT means you ‘re getting the drive, alongside Narain?
    It makes me wonder though, if you want something slow and Spanish, why don’t you buy a small Seat???
    Still, kudos to Ajokay for the rendering!

    1. So Keith, does F1 Fanatic sponsoring HRT means you ‘re getting the drive, alongside Narain?

      Of course Keith’s not going to do, he’s going to do the only logical thing and pull F1fanatics names out of a hat each weekend and stick them in the car.

      I have it on good authority that Ned Flanders and Steph are top contender’s this year.

      1. I suppose the winner and second best drivers of the F1 2010 games championship will get that drive!

        Honestly, I think the original colours worked better on that car. Still a very nice effort Ajokay!

      2. It wont be Ned, the shareholders in his ‘Flanders F1’ team wouldn’t be too happy about him driving for a rival team.

        1. It wont be Ned, the shareholders in his ‘Flanders F1′ team wouldn’t be too happy about him driving for a rival team.

          There’s only one thing to do, we as F1Fanatics need to open negotiation’s with Flanders F1 for them to supply the F1Fanatics F1 team with Okley Dokley Drivetrains.

          Hopefully Flanders F1 will take payment in the form of “we will say nice things about you on the internet”, its such a precious commodity these days.

    2. Between Keith and Narain. I would put my money on Keith hammering Narain in quali, and lapping him during the race. Lets click on the donate button and get Keith his drive… a few thousand quid should be enough to get him a year long contract.

  8. Hahaha! Ajokay, that F1F car is amazing. Great work! :D

  9. Among the three I think Senna is the prime candidate but I would have love to see Hulkenberg to take his seat.

  10. Your report stating “Renault team principal Eric Boullier has named Bruno Senna, Nick Heidfeld and Vitantonio Liuzzi as possible replacements for Robert Kubica.” is misleading.
    As usual…… journalists write what others say, without checking the facts, and then it becomes a “statement”. Boullier NEVER mentioned a single name to replace Kubica. During the interview with Boullier, the journalist was the one giving the names, and now it is attributed to Boullier – sad reporting, really sad.

    The video of the interview is here:

    1. Boullier NEVER mentioned a single name to replace Kubica.

      But when asked about those drivers and whether they were on the shortlist, he said “Yes”. I’m not sure how you can read anything else into that.

      1. No I agree with Jakkal. The way that this has been worded implies that its a straight race between these three for the race seat. Clearly that is not the case. These 3 are candidates, but not the 3 candidates.

      2. DeadManWoking
        9th February 2011, 4:48

        Journalist: Heidfeld, Liuzzi, Senna?

        Boullier: All these names,yes,are on the list obviously but there is some others as well…

      3. From Autosport’s article on the same topic: “Bruno Senna, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Nick Heidfeld are the three drivers that Renault is considering as the replacement for Robert Kubica this season, team boss Eric Boullier has said.”

        1. Thank you DeadManWoking and GeeMac for proving my point.

        2. DeadManWoking
          9th February 2011, 6:43

          They are not the only three drivers that they are consedering. Watch the video yourself instead of just citing what others have said about it. You will see that Boullier says that they are on the list but so are others.

      4. They are actually considering them, as Boullier said those 3 are on the list, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones.

  11. That F1F car is awesome.

    Would love to know how that is done.

  12. COTD number 3 … not that I’m keeping count!

  13. I think Senna should get the drive because that’s the whole point of a third driver, but there are some question marks about the wisdom of that.

    He may have not been thrashed by his team-mates, but he was beaten. Chandhok held his own against him despite having zero experience and being a supposed lesser talent. Klien came in straight away to rules system he had no familiarity with, out of practice for years and still beat him. And considering the third driver was Yamamoto, beating him means virtually nothing apart from not being useless.

    So he would have driven for Honda. That means nothing in terms of being good enough to replace Kubica.

    I want Senna to have the chance, but because he deserves one. Not for his record. When you think about how other top drivers impressed in rubbish cars and see Senna didn’t do that, it doesn’t indicate a lost world champion.

    1. Agree with everything you are saying. Additionally, there are drivers that perform better in a more competitive drive, and some that perform worse in a terrible car. The HRT was a monster truck, and I do not think you can make very accurate judgements about any of the drivers based on the 2010 season alone (except Yamamoto).

    2. Tiff Needell made a very valid comment on Twitter last night about this though.

      There were suspicions that the spec of the cars was different (not uncommon) between the cars.

      I’m sorry for all of the doubters, but you don’t suddenly go from being quick in other formula, and talented, to being rubbish because you drive a poor car.

      Let him have a chance in the testing. If he is way off the pace (knowing what Petrov had as a gap to Robert last year), then go find someone. If he isnt, then give him a chance.

      1. yeah i agree. Heidfeld is at the moment a better driver (being vastly more experienced), and an underrated one i feel, but young drivers like senna are the future and need to be brought in and nurtured so that they can be as competitive as possible as soon as possible to maintain the high level of competition in f1. Sure Heidfeld would produce better results in the here and now, but Kubica was really Renault’s only realistic hope of achieving anything this season so i personally dont think there’s too much point in making the decision based on who can potentially fight for championships as there are no available drivers of the necessary quality. However, i do think it is vital Renault get someone like Heidfeld in to conduct some friday practice sessions or they are really gonna fall behind in the development of the car with two virtual rookies on board.

        1. You have to question, whether if (and it is obviously a big if) Robert comes back fighting fit at the same level and performance, how long he would delay a move to one of the huge teams like Ferrari, McLaren, Redbull if the renault doesnt get up there fighting for titles.

          I think on renault, they have proved before that they can mix it with the best, and I saw signs of them getting some form back last year. Lets see.

      2. I’m sorry for all of the doubters, but you don’t suddenly go from being quick in other formula, and talented, to being rubbish because you drive a poor car.

        That’s actually what does happen with those who can’t cut it in F1. The talents go from being good in good cars in lower formulae to being good in bad cars in F1.

  14. So Motorsort columnist Dean McNulty (whoever he is) writes in the Toronto Sun, that Robert Kubica should retire. I suppose the suggestion comes from a good place, but I can’t help but love the reaction in the comments to the article

    especially the one from fb_uid:1524783009, February 9th 2011, 5:31am : )

    1. Haha. I also do not agree with the author, he kinda does not understand what racing for real driver is.

    2. HounslowBusGarage
      9th February 2011, 11:11

      Pretty unanimous verdict in the comments! Made me laugh.

    3. Lol! I agree that comment was absolutely priceless, kind of reminded me of a friends response to any lengthy argument he didn’t agree with.

      Additionally, whoever this McNulty guy is, he obviously knows nothing much about the mental and physical toughness of f1 pilots. He is also completely ignorant regarding their motivation and passion. Kubica lives to race, and asking him to retire is pretty much worse than chopping his arm off. Kubica is truest form of a racer, and undeniably a world champion in the making. I just hope he doesn’t have to put up with idiotic opinion’s such as these during his recovery period.

    4. Just don’t mistake me for the other Maciek leaving comments there – some people just don’t know how to let a simple and effective message do its work.

      1. Who gave U right to write such a cr*p about someones live an career!!?

        This comment from him made my day :P

        1. Cheers Maciek. Them comments are hilarious. Take it theres no moderation there! Another good one can actually repeat!!

          who cares about oval tracks. they are only for morons


  15. That F1 Fanatic car looks great! Just thinking, how many F1 Fanatic members are there? What if we could all pay $100 a year….1million fans around the whole world would mean $100m to sponsor HRT. Imagine, a fans own sponsored car! :)

  16. Hey Keith,

    Remember last year you did some posts comparing each of the new cars with each other (and possibly with the previous car, I can’t remember) – would be really cool if you or the guy who writes your tech articles could do something similar this year too…

  17. Renault will roughl know how good their car is:

    If it’s a podium finisher, and consistent point scorer they would be as well giving the ride to Senna, they have othing to lose as far as wining the title is concerned.

    If they privately beleive that the R31 will win a few races and can compete for the title then surely Heidfeld is the safe option. Sure he may not have won a race but neither had Webber before the German 2009 GP and once he broke his duck it all fell into place and he has been able to in many races since. Pre-Championsip-Winning Button is another similar driver, quite mature and never lived up to his hype, but when gien a car he delivered.

    You hear it here first: Heidfeld is the drk horse for 2011!! ;)

    1. I coudn’t agree more. I have always rated Heidfeld in the same league as Button and Webber, and a little higher than both of them at times. It would be great to see if he can deliver in a race winning car, it would end that everlasting ‘what if’ debate on Heidfeld.

      1. And then he can retire, so next season we once again have a car with the number 0 on it…

        1. And Romain Grosjean can be our enigmatic Frenchman who refuses to be number 0 because he doesn’t want to be a nobody!

    2. *roughly

    1. I couldn’t understand much from the translated version of that articles. But it seems that Grosjean and Senna will be taking testing responsibilities until Renault make up their mind.

    2. Alright .. looks like its confirmed. Heidfeld will get a chance to test the car in Jerez along with Bruno Senna. Luizzi seems out of the picture.

  18. miguelF1O (@)
    9th February 2011, 18:03

    For Renault sake, not Senna he is tooo slow and sometimes he breaks cars just like when he participated in LeMans the team retired cause they didnt had more spare parts. Hulkenberg deserves the spot cause he will be the best rookie ever to be left out of F1, anyway Hulk may return like alonso or not probably not

    1. Unless Mercedes is able to poach Vettel, I have a feeling the Hulk will get a shot with Mercedes at some point of time.

  19. how much does it cost to have your site on a F1 car these days i remember 10 years ao reading about how much ppl would pay to have their logo on an ferrari on the smallest most obscure places.

  20. “The latest news on our line-up for Jerez. Vitaly, Bruno Senna and Nick Heidfeld will all drive the R31.”

    -LRGP on Facebook

  21. bild newspaper is reporting that heidfeld has the seat as principal driver for the 2011 season.

    (in german)

  22. Confirmed: Heidfeld, but only for testing so far

  23. Renault team principal Eric Boullier has named Bruno Senna, Nick Heidfeld and Vitantonio Liuzzi as possible replacements for Robert Kubica.

    I think among 3 drivers, Nick Heidfeld would be perfect choice if they think their car is good. When Kubica and Heidfeld were partners, Nick matched him closely, though not as good as Kubica but Nick certainly had his days driving solid and good races.

    Luizzi has proved again that he is noot good enough. I year at Forci India, thrashed by Sutil.

    Senna TBH has also proved to be inconsistent with crashes and all.

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