Heidfeld: R31 gives us a tyre advantage

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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Nick Heidfeld, Renault, Istanbul, 2011

Nick Heidfeld says the R31 is easier on its tyres than rival cars are, which he hopes will give them an advantage in this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Heidfeld said: “With these new Pirelli tyres, there is not too much you can do to limit the impact of degradation from a driver point of view.

“However, the good thing is the R31 is quite gentle on its tyres compared to the other cars, which is a real positive for us.

“I think that through good general usage of the car the driver can help the situation, but what is more important is how the car is set-up. If the car is prepared well beforehand then it can put us in a good position.”

Heidfeld added he is wary of the improved performance Mercedes have shown in recent races:

“I will need to concentrate on getting the most out of it, but I think it’s too early days to speak about final championship positions just yet.

Nico [Rosberg] is only a point behind me now and Mercedes have improved a lot over the last two races. However, we scored as many points as they did in Turkey so we can stay clear of them.

“The Ferraris are not far away – Felipe [Massa] has finished behind me in a couple of races and he is not many points ahead so my aim is to start challenging him in the standings very soon.”

After the Turkish Grand Prix Heidfeld was unhappy about his battle for position with team mate Vitaly Petrov, during which they banged wheels. Team principal Eric Boullier says he has now “cleared the situation up”:

“My opinion is very clear. They have the same car so if they compete together throughout the race that means we have a good pair of drivers.

“This has to be done fairly, and it is always tricky when they have to battle against each other because they’re racing drivers and they don’t want to give their position away. We have now cleared the situation up but it is good to see them battling.”

Renault are bringing six separate small aerodynamic developments to Barcelona which they expect will be worth 0.15-0.2s per lap, or ten seconds over a race distance.

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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    19 comments on “Heidfeld: R31 gives us a tyre advantage”

    1. Hope both of them step up in Valencia to take away positions from Ferrari and Mercedes

      1. Douglas62500
        16th May 2011, 13:48

        I really do wish Renault could beat Ferrari to 3rd in Constructors this year !

        1. I doubt it. The Ferrari is among the best in the race (and has been all year, the poor results didn’t come from the car performance) and neither Renault driver is as good as Alonso. If Massa can sabilize himself again I don’t see how Renault shoud have a chance.

          1. With among the best I meant among the best behind RedBull .. obviously.

            1. And on soft tyres in the race, they’re as fast as Red Bull – just look at Massa in China or Alonso in Turkey.

              If Ferrari’s updates do anything at all in the next few races, they could be looking very good.

          2. UKfanatic (@)
            16th May 2011, 22:37

            Ferrari has had problems heating the tyres since 2007 and has had an degradation advantage too

            1. They did not have this problem last year. THe truth is that F150 is a slow car and that is attributed to their unability to heat up the tyres. Period

        2. It would suffice if they beat Mercedes, as last year they were behind, and as Nico Rosberg looks competitive.

    2. curious to see weather they get in a position to challenge for the podium again any time soon.

      1. Indeed it will be. I hope we haven’t seen the best of Renault already.

        1. I’m afraid we did. There’s no way they can compete with Ferrari and McLaren. If they beat Mercedes it would be a good season for them.

          1. They have more podiums than Ferrari so far!

            1. It’s just a matter of time.

    3. Personally I think a claimed tire advantage will not be enough to do much other than compete with Merc this year, and that means they will remain behind Red Bull, Mac, and Ferrari, so it is really moot…for any tire advantage they may have, they have other disadvantages that will negate their conserved tires.

      I am glad though to see and hear that they are allowing racing amongst their teammates.

    4. Better tyre life is only useful if the difference in strategies are marginal. No good being able to go for 2 stops if 3-stops are faster.

    5. Renault are on a charge.They can fight between but that needs to neat & clean just like the two Mclaren drivers.

    6. For me it’s such a shame that we won’t see Kubica in that LRGP at Monaco. This will be the track on which LRGP will show his biggest strengths but I am afraid that neither NK or VP won’t compete with Red Bull out there. I am almost sure that RK would’ve fight for win out there :/

      1. Can we please stop with all this ‘Kubica could of done this, Kubica could of done that’ crap? Face it, he isn’t there, and he isn’t likely to be at all this year.

        1. And just to clear it up, My comment wasnt just towards you, it was to everyone that keeps going on about it.

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