Nick Heidfeld out-scored team mate Robert Kubica at BMW in 2007 – but this year the tables have been turned: Kubica has out-qualified and often out-raced Heidfeld.
Should Heidfeld keep his seat at BMW for next year? Give your verdict on Nick Heidfeld below.
Nick Heidfeld was backed by McLaren and Mercedes in his junior career, but made his F1 debut with Prost before moving to Sauber.
Heidfeld’s fans often point out that he out-scored team mate Kimi Raikkonen at Sauber in 2001, but McLaren passed over Heidfeld in favour of Raikkonen. Heidfeld spent two more years at Sauber before being dropped and ending up at Jordan.
But his perseverance paid off and Williams tested him alongside Antonio Pizzonia to decide who would race for them in 2005. Heidfeld got the nod, and impressed by taking pole position at the Nurburgring and finishing second at Monaco.
As BMW chose to split from Williams at the end of the year to take over Sauber, Heidfeld was an obvious choice of driver for team boss Mario Theissen. Heidfeld easily had the beating of Jacques Villeneuve early in the season, but when new team mate Robert Kubica was drafted in halfway through the season Heidfeld had to up his game.
He out-scored Kubica through 2007 but this year his team has had the upper hand and scored BMW’s first win at Montreal, passing Heidfeld on the way. That must be galling for Heidfeld, who has now scored more second places without winning a race than any other driver in F1 history.
Heidfeld has had trouble getting the most out of his tyres in qualifying and his average starting position of 8.82 compares poorly with Kubica’s 4.45.
However he is within eight points of his team mate in the championship and is the only driver to finish every race this year. Should he keep his seat with the team for another year? And will he ever score that maiden win?