Renault: Heidfeld unhappy with Petrov after contact

2011 Turkish GP team review

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Heidfeld says Petrov’s move on him during the Turkish Grand Prix was “not safe”.

Nick Heidfeld Vitaly Petrov
Qualifying position 9 7
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’26.659 (+0.363) 1’26.296
Race position 7 8
Laps 58/58 58/58
Pit stops 4 4

Renault drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58
Nick Heidfeld 100.734 97.163 96.263 95.227 95.351 94.976 94.566 94.582 94.883 94.815 113.721 95.978 94.56 93.696 93.762 93.733 93.829 94.175 93.966 94.02 93.797 94.427 109.6 94.123 92.969 93.189 94.077 93.355 93.133 93.742 93.429 93.84 93.574 93.971 93.258 92.989 108.091 92.172 93.241 92.733 92.29 92.219 92.244 91.952 92.37 92.167 107.784 90.436 90.361 91.144 90.844 90.158 90.405 91.252 90.949 90.872 90.601 90.657
Vitaly Petrov 100.33 97.306 95.448 94.681 94.877 94.802 95.765 95.277 110.358 95.668 97.463 95.375 93.902 93.743 93.89 93.624 94.075 94.244 94.278 110.279 93.076 93.252 94.192 93.166 93.591 92.755 93.29 93.513 93.441 93.382 93.452 93.734 93.654 94.112 110.126 92.861 92.6 92.774 92.217 93.151 92.504 92.527 92.516 92.441 92.458 107.508 91.036 90.618 90.807 92.297 92.055 91.39 91.144 91.298 91.261 93.406 91.059 91.677
Nick Heidfeld, Renault, Istanbul, 2011

Nick Heidfeld

Slipped from ninth to tenth at the start before overtaking Rubens Barrichello.

He made his first pit stop on lap ten and came out behind his team mate. Heidfeld tried to take advantage of Petrov bring delayed behind Pastor Maldonado and Jaime Alguersuari but found himself pushed towards the pit lane entrance by Petrov.

Heidfeld gesticulated angrily at the other Renault and said afterwards: “That’s not nice. It shouldn’t happen.

“He just pushed me wide and we made contact. It’s not a safe thing to do.”

Heidfeld also complained about being stuck in traffic, though he passed Paul di Resta at turn nine in the middle of the race.

He finally passed Petrov down the inside of turn one on lap 51 to take eighth, and then claimed seventh from Sebastien Buemi.

Heidfeld was catching sixth-placed Jenson Button when the race finished. But he and Petrov both had to save fuel during the race which cost them time.

Engine support leader Riccardo Penteado said: “We planned an aggressive strategy to try and catch Jenson at the end and fuel consumption was very high, even higher than in qualifying, so we were very tight on fuel with both cars.

“It almost worked and Nick wasn’t far away – just over a second.”

Nick Heidfeld 2011 form guide

Vitaly Petrov

Petrov felt he could have got into the top six in qualifying. He lost a place to Michael Schumacher at the start but took it back at turn 12 on the second lap, only for the Mercedes driver to hit him.

Running wide, Petrov fell behind Massa. He was unhappy about the contact, saying: “I think what really affected my position today was the collision with Michael early in the race.

“He hit my car and then I was stuck behind some slower drivers after the first pit stop. If this had not happened, my race would have been much stronger and I could have pulled away.”

Petrov made a very early first pit stop on lap eight and spent the next three stints on the hard tyres. He passed Buemi for eighth on the last lap.

Vitaly Petrov 2011 form guide

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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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42 comments on “Renault: Heidfeld unhappy with Petrov after contact”

  1. I can’t help but think that Heidfeld is a bit worried about the good pace and race-craft of his teammate, having thought before the season that he would show them how he was as dominant as Kubica was last year, but then having started off badly, and not really doing better over the rest of the races. A bit like with BMW before.

    1. Petrov is certainly grabbing the oppertunity with both hands.

      1. Indeed. A different driver to the one we saw last year.

    2. i believe Heidfeld is feeling the pressure a lot more than Petrov
      everyone expected him to beat Petrov but that didnt happen often
      the only weekend that he’snt complained was Malaysia, as he scored podium and Petrov DNF
      Australia n China he said he had trouble with traffic in Q, hell in Turkey he said traffic in race
      seriously Nick you need to live up to your nickname

  2. Wow Renault certainly could have gone higher…

    Still Petrov is definitely the most improved driver from last season

  3. I did think Petrov was out of order, Heidfeld was squeezed to the pit entry and could have hit the wall.

    I don’t want racing punished but I thought pushing a driver off was against the rules? Inconsistent if so.

    1. I’m not sure he knew he was there.

      1. Petrov definately knew he was there.

        1. He knew it for surely because he waved at him before Nick waved back.

    2. to me it looked like petrov wanted to come into the pits but couldnt because Heidfeld was hanging round the outside of him. Petrov raised his arm to Heidfeld in annoyance, which i cant see any reason for doing unless he was trying to make it into the pits and was blocked. If he wasnt trying to get into the pits then i agree, his driving was a little too forceful

      1. Interesting theory. Could be right too. Nicely done.

  4. At first sight of the Petrov-Schumi incident I thought ‘What the hell is Schumi doing again?’ Looking back at it he left Petrov a Renault sized gap (be it measured to the millimeter, but for all intents and purposes petrov could still get on the inside without being pushed off track) and the contact only happened because Petrov couldn’t make the apex.
    Petrov has show some decent improvement, but he has been sloppy in every race bar OZ where he had a great drive. I thought the no.1 requirement for him this year as said by Renault was to keep his focus throughout a whole GP weekend, and he’s not hitting that target (yet):

  5. Not sure if anyone has ever suggested this Keith, but you should consider reducing the Y-axis scale on these graphs to make it easier to spot differences in lap time. You could show a second graph underneath this one that doesn’t include the in and out laps and is scaled from 90-102 seconds. As it is now, a not-insignificant gap of one to three tenths is almost impossible to distinguish on the graph.

  6. Petrov was an idiot.

    He shouldve been seriously reprimanded by the FIA and by the team.

    As for schumacher – cant beleive the vile from the media. None of schumacher’s good racing points were brought up like: another great start from the lights. And also some excellent overtaking moves from him.

    Instead jenson gets creditted with an overtake into the last corner on rosberg…all because rosberg went in too deep into the corner, and as jenson was already on the outside he just went throught 1st!
    – I’d say schumacher’s move on massa and alguesuari into the last corner (3 abreast) was far more skilled.

    1. But it didn’t get him anywhere, because of that first, too optimistic, incident with Petrov. And that’s something we have seen a lot since his comeback. Sure, part of it is the car, but Rosberg is in the same machinery, and get the results.

      1. i think the schumacher-petrov incident was largely petrovs fault to be honest. If you look at the replay, when schumacher turned in they had both already missed the apex the corner, and petrov’s wheels were still straight. Petrov outbraked himself and had schumacher not turned in i feel he would have done well to stay on the track. Schumacher was just mistaken in thinking petrov would make the corner and turned in so as to hold the outside

        1. i noticed this too, if you look at petrov he is not turning to try an meet the apex and make the corner – he kind of just continues going straight – i thought it was just my incorrect interpretation at first but now others have noticed too –

        2. YEs its Petrov’s fault..

    2. And also some excellent overtaking moves from him

      You have got to be joking. Schumacher pulled one good overtaking move in the entire race – the one on Alguersuari… and thats about it. The rest of the race he looked worse than an undeserving and amateurish GP2 driver. He got overtaken by drivers in inferior cars throughout the race, and his defensive driving was just down right illegal at times. I really do not know how you can blame Petrov for this inident, when Schumacher himself admitted that the entire incident was his fault.

      1. I really do not know how you can blame Petrov for this inident

        Because Petrov was already going wide. It was an unnecessary and risky move

        1. Its hard to say a lot from that picture.
          Look at this clip instead

          Petrov had the inside line, and was just forced into a very uncomfortable position by Schumacher. Its not like Schumacher was interested in taking the corner correctly.. he just wanted to try and bully Petrov. Just look at how Schumacher has multiple moves in the braking zone. I think Schumacher should have been penalized for this move.

        2. Look at this clip instead..

          its mirrored.. but gives you a clearer picture of Schumacher’s defense

        3. I have to agree with Burnout.

          The live TV angle makes it look like Schumacher turned in on Petrov. The reverse angle shows that Petrov just bosleighed into the side of him.

          Not a good race for the Russian, I fear his erratic driving is returning.

          1. There was absolutely no need for contact, yet again Schumacher was squeezing to much. His defense was way to late and just didnt want to concede. So Petrov ran a foot or 2 wide, thats no reason to blame him for that. Schumacher must of been dumb to think that the Renault driver wouldnt run a tad wide after being pushed right out into the marbles!

  7. Love the wheel banging moment between the two drivers for a while I thought that last year Red Bull’s ghost have caught Renault.

  8. The New Pope
    9th May 2011, 18:06

    Petrov is better than Heidfeld.

      1. Yes he is.

  9. Sorry but Petrov had the inside and Michael just refused to give it up.

    Michael is reaching the end of his life in F1 even possibly starting to slide down the slope now.

    He just thinks he can scare people off the track like he used to but it just doesn’t work and he ends up being clumsy.

    1. Gotta agree with you. Schumacher’s ego has taken a beating in every race since his comeback, and now it just seems that he cannot handle the competition from superior drivers on the grid. I guess he cannot command the respect and fear like he did when he was racing. The current grid doesn’t give a cr*p about his legend status, and instead they will try to make him foolish on every occassion. Moves like these are just a sign of frustration of a ‘has been’.

  10. I have only watched it once in the race and one reply not really paying attention. To me it seemed that petrov was ahead and heidfeld hit into him as if to say “move over!” but why the hell should he? nick should have backed off if he didn’t have room. Like i said only watched it twice but i didnt see anything wrong from petrov.

    Probably a good way to tell who was at fault is to look who’s hand went up first. It would have been ment to say what the hell are you doing? with the other driver putting their hand up to say you deserved it! Not a bullet proof blame detector but probably would give a good idea.

    1. I watched this incident several times too, and it’s definite that Petrov had his hand up first. To me, it appeared that Petrov had the racing line and Heidfeld was trying to come up the inside, albeit poorly.

  11. Come on ! Kubica would be there, he would be clearly fighting for podiums, Petrov is there just because of Russian money, he does not deserve a F1 seat for any good reason and Heidfeld will never be a 1st F1 driver. Kids games…

    1. Did you not see Petrov in Melbourne?

    2. formula1jmfangio (@)
      9th May 2011, 23:42

      Mate, Petrov certainly deserves to drive for Renault and whatever money he brought in with him Renault used it to build that car that Kubica drove better last year!
      And to compare Kubica with a rookie driver is just like comparing a Lamborghini with a Honda Civic meaning no point there !

      1. What you trying to say about honda civics? lol

    3. Getting pretty sick of the Kubica would be doing so much better comments as much as I like the man. Petrov showed that he could beat Kubica on a good day last year and I think he’s driven near that level all season so far. I can’t see Kubica being that far ahead of Petrov to be honest

  12. I can’t tell who was to blame either – I didn’t see it more than once.
    But using which driver first raises his hand as a guilt indicator is naive for several reasons – the driver who’s car is out of balance and needs to be corrected will not let go of the wheel with one hand. And as is well known in soccer, often the player making the penalty is performing the “I’m innocent, it wasn’t me!” gesture even before the whistle blows.
    But Heidfeld is very good at avoiding contact and very sensitive when it happens. This is probably why he has the record number of race finishes. He should rather develop a tougher attitude and driving style – without a change, he will be history after this season, I guess.

  13. A decent weekend for Renault, hoping for another podium for Petrov. Cannot wait to hear that car at Monza!

  14. formula1jmfangio (@)
    9th May 2011, 23:37

    of course because in order to safely pass in a school zone you have to slow down to 10 mph and look in both directions!! what rubbish ! Let’s give Petrov a ticket for speeding too!
    What about when Alonso got into the pits just in front of Massa, did you hear Massa complain?
    All these drivers with their safety opinions, as long as the stewards don’t penalize the driver for driving unsafe get on with your driving you’re a race driver not a school bus driver
    Disappointed to hear that from you Nick!
    When kubica comes back there won’t even be rumours as to who is going to depart Lotus Renault!!!

    1. Seeing as Petrov has a contract until 2012 (or was it 2013?) it’s already certain who will be leaving

      1. Contract? F1? Don’t make me laugh.

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