Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Jerez, 2011

Jerez test day 3 in pictures

2011 F1 testing

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Nick Heidfeld has driven the Renault R31 for the first time as the team decide whether he will drive for them in 2011.

Here are pictures from the third day of the test at Jerez:

2011 F1 testing

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Images ?? F1 Fanatic, Ferrari spa, Force India F1 Team, Mercedes GP, Williams/LAT, Pirelli

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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65 comments on “Jerez test day 3 in pictures”

  1. good luck Nick, though I would love to see KUB in R31 :(

    1. Nick fastest of the test!

  2. nick for wdc :)

  3. Camera is mighty low on that McLaren. Driver’s head level!

    1. I always thought it was intended to be as close to a “driver’s view” as possible, except that teams tended to put it as far back and as high as allowed to minimize its effect on airstream. I hope that camera on the McLaren gets used often :)

      1. They had some great shots last year. The under car shots were amazing! :)

        ( damn, I’ve just been bitten whilst using my iPad on this site.. Grrr)

      2. I am looking forward to seeing the shots from that camera.

        I also agree, that the shots from the cameras made low above the front wing were great and the shots backwards from the front wing were exiting as well last year.

  4. Nick’s helmet is already matching the car’s colours… Looks like a deal !!

    1. I’m pretty sure Renault will judge him based on something other than the colour of his helmet. I believe he picked up that design when he replace Pedro de la Rosa at the Singapore Grand Prix last year. It’s only coincidence that his helmet is black and gold.

      1. well in Nick’s case I am not sure I would believe in coincidence. This guy always came back from “retirement” at the last minute. It’s not coincidence, it’s destiny… :-)

        1. Well judging from the close up of the helmet, what with the gold strip with ‘Renault’ across the visor and the large yellow blob that turns out to be the Lotus Logo.. I’d say it’s not a large jump of imagination that the black is Renaults doing as well.

          Best not go jumping to conclusions though eh PM?

          1. I didn’t jump to conclusions. I took a small step and found conclusions waiting for me. The gold Renault band and the Lotus logo have clearly been added very recently, but Heidfeld introduced the basic black and gold design for Singapore.


          2. Thanks for posting that PM. I think he used the jet black one in Pirrelli testing, and changed it to gold black with a bit of red, i.e. German flag colours, when he got the Sauber drive.

            Just the kind of thing for Heidfeld to find it fitting with the JPS livery this year (was he already thinking about a Renault or Lotus drive at the time? Clever move then!)

          3. Actually, based on Gerard Lopez’s statements, Renault didn’t start talking to Lotus – much less float the idea of a black and gold JPS-style livery – until some time just after the Japanese Grand Prix. There’s no way Heidfeld could have known that they were planning it, and better ways to get their attention than commissioning a new helmet design that fit in with their new livery.

    2. He also put his avatar showing with Twitter in team style. A gold Q in a golden circle with black background.

      To be honest, I would have loved him keeping his matte jet black helmet from last year, that was special. Although the thin golden stripes on the helmet work a lot better than the thick gold bars on the car livery.

      1. Ditto. Preferred the Team Lotus livery to the Renault livery.

  5. Heidfeld’s helmet fits good with the car.

  6. keith im getting this message on twitter app
    Response timed out at: 10:03

  7. I wonder when my ‘I told you so moment’ comes on the selection of Nick Hiedfeld? :)

  8. Heidfeld is no mug… he will come good if he gets the seat.

    1. Spot on! A quality driver hung out to dry…

  9. 2 seconds behind Petrov so far.

    1. Well, Nick is already over half a second faster than Petrov. Wait till the session ends.

    2. “so far” being the operative phrase. There is a lot of water to pass under the bridge yet.

  10. It must be the angle, but Merc’s platypus nose looks more advanced, compare to the others like Force India’s or even Ferrari’s.

  11. “Petrov Lotus Renault GP 65 1:22.493 2.141”


    Heidfeld Renault 1m21.849s +1.356 15laps

    Go figure!!

    1. I think he will destroy Senna as well. The teams must all know Senna is no superstar else one of the big boys would have schooled him & signed him up years ago…

      1. He did get pulled out of all motorsport by his family for a lot of his teenage life, to that may be why he wasnt picked up years ago. Although Honda were very keen on him.

    2. Well, the track gets faster, the systems are all tested and set up and nobody here said anything on the tyres used for that best time, even less weather Petrov set that time using KERS and/or the ASR.

      Just so many variables, the times really are not that important.

      1. Not to mention the way Renault would be running different programs for both drivers. Petrov will be heavily into running simulations of Grand Prix distances by now, evaluating how the car performs over continuous running. Heidfeld and Senna will probably be doing shorter runs designed to acquaint them with the car and see what kind of speed the can extract from the R31.

        1. Exactly, testing is meant to try different things on the car and with setup options to better understand and improve it, not comparing times on track.

          The team will know who gave best feedback and best performance for given variables.

          1. Keith Collantine> Heidfeld now 1.2s faster than Petrov was yesterday

            Still, it’s quite a lot now.

          2. Now Heidfeld is 2.1 seconds better than Petrov was yesterday. It’s the fastest lap today so far. It’s not just a coincidence. Nick is quick. They were always pretty closely matched with Robert in BMW. I don’t see why it should change now and I doubt Senna can challenge that.

  12. i think its great to see nick back in the race seat.. i can see him fitting in nicely with Renault. good luck to him :)

  13. 3 laps out of 13 under 1:22. I don’t think Senna stand a chance of getting that seat, if Renault chooses by lap times. But fair that they evaluate Heidfeld first, Senna last, in this way Senna have a chance to profit from the improvements they gain from Heidfelds work today. Not that he will be faster, I think…Heidfeld is very experienced, probably not world champion potential, but he can stadily bring the Renault forward to score in every race and he is probably the best realistic alternative to Kubica right now. Looking forward to seeing him racing again, but I’ll miss Kubica – he seem to be able to notch the Renault a few positions further up the grid than the car was worth.

  14. I like Bruno, but I’m rooting for Nick to land the seat next to Petrov. As Massa said last year, “Why has no one offered my former team-mate Nick Heidfeld a good race-seat?”

  15. Good luck to Nick, but I can’t ever see a photo of him without being reminded of the guy from The Joy of Sex..

    1. LOL. Then you’ll find this even more disturbing.

      1. Oh god….dear lordddddd…………

  16. Why are the pictures worse in quality? Already noticed this on test day 2 pictures, and day 3 is the same :S Not good for desktop wallpaper! What a pitty.

    1. He could be uploading the photos from the track, so previewing the photos would be a lot more difficult then doing so under controlled lighting on a good monitor.

      1. The biggest difference is, at the Jerez test Keith had a pro making the pictures, but here he does the job without that to make it financially viable.

        Want wallpaper quality? Donate a bit (button on the top bar, right) and possibly Barca can be with Julien.

        Actually these pictures are still pretty good for Wallpapers as well.

  17. I think he’s pretty much secured the seat now. Equaling the fastest time at Jerez (so far) and is now 2.1 seconds faster than Petrov’s fastest time. They don’t call him quick Nick for nothing :).

    1. True, true. And he’s probably got some good feedback for the engineers.

      Awesome job, Nick!

    2. I don’t think the times will have much to do with that, Kubica would have set times like that.
      Just proves they are doing a different program today where they do times, then go for longer runs to see how long they can make the tyres last.

      No way is Heidfeld a whole 2 seconds faster doing the same. If that were the case, Petrov would certainly not be in the other car.

      1. 2 seconds during early pre season testing while trying to work out the kinks on a new car doesn’t surprise me. Besides, Petrov admitted he’s having trouble braking and adjusting to all the controls especially with KERS onboard. This is all old hat to Nick, and despite what he said yesterday he’s extra motivated to prove himself right now. I’m sure the gap will close up by Bahrain. Still, it’s impressive that he’s acclimated to the car so quickly.

        Petrov is in the other car because of he has a contract. Whether he’ll be there next year we’ll have to wait and see.

  18. Heidfeld Renault 1m20.361s

    1 second could well be setup/kers/tyres. but 2 on your first day back? quick nick once again?

    1. Pretty sure that other second is more to do with fuel loads than driver speeds

  19. We’ll get a better idea after Senna drives tomorrow.

  20. The more I see the green Lotus, the more I like it. For Heidfeld vs Senna – I’m starting to think that if they brought Heidfeld in at all it’s because he’s the guy they want and that Senna would have to mightily impress them to take the seat. We’ll see. For now I wish people would stop dumping on the guy based on his rookie season in a bucket of bolts.

  21. Heidfeld. I’m not a fan but he’s really gone for it today. He’s got within .009 of Schumacher’s best time for the whole of Jerez. That’s pretty impressive for a guy from outside the team.

    I reckon he must have that Renault drive in the bag now. But it will be really interesting to see what Bruno does tomorrow. I kind of feel sorry for the Brazilian. So much pressure on his shoulders just because of his name. And his career and development put on hold for all those years. I really do wish him the best.

    May the best man win!

  22. Wonder if Senna is faster then Petrov with no offs will they think about switching one paid driver for another?

    1. It’ll be interesting to see what the driver line up at Renault will be in one month.

  23. Looks like maybe the Pirelli’s are more to Nick’s liking then the Bridgestone. He often complained about them.

    1. Last year about half of the drivers complained of them (Massa, Schumi, Rosberg not being entirely content as well, Liuzzi, Button not satisfied, etc.). And we just watching all complained even the softer tyres lasting 80% of the race distance.

  24. Why are Mclaren again doing so little laps, less than half of the rest and only a third of some.

    Regarding Nick, that’s a good time even if on low fuel.

    1. I’ve been wondering the same thing about McLaren. Button and Hamilton have done so few laps, but when they want to they seem to be able to uncork good times.

      Once they get more testing and miles under them it’ll be interesting to see how the MP4-26 seats in with the rest. I have a feeling it’ll be really fast.

    2. I think MAC are changing exhausts during these gaps, I have seen pics of at least 2 different types. One pointing straight back and one turned inward toward the crash structure, thats just a guess as you can’t clearly see the end of the pipe.

  25. Just like some better ranked drivers have performance clauses for the team in their contracts, maybe some of the lowered ranked drivers may have performance clauses from the team to them. If Nick were to wipe the floor with Senna, maybe an easy out for Renault. That is unless Senna is bringing some serious cash. From what we saw of Senna , and Petrov, they don’t warrant a peak of the motorsports seat.

  26. The Mercedes livery and even the strange platyphus nose is looking pretty advanced in those pictures. A lot better to look at than last years effort.

  27. Have you spotted what Fernando Alonso had put on his helmet?

    Little hint.

  28. Keith, I noticed the f1fanatic watermark and was wandering what gear you were using to take your shots?

  29. Does anybody know what the net-shaped part is infront and below the McLarens sidepod is?

    1. Looks like some kind of crazy aero dynamic tester to help evaluate the aerodynamics of this new large sidepod. This could be testing out the effects of a forward facing exhaust as well.

  30. I find it interesting that every year their is some loophole in the regulations that a few teams figure out. Double diffusers, F-Ducts, now forward exhausts. Is this because there is a bit of spying going on between teams?

    Do you think its possible that McLaren could even try an exhaust which can be switched to come out in different places with just the push of a button?

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