Bruno Senna replaces Nick Heidfeld at Renault

2011 F1 season

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Senna drove Heidfeld's car in practice at the Hungaroring

Renault have promoted Bruno Senna to their race team as of this weekend.

A statement issued by the team on Wednesday said: “Lotus Renault GP is pleased to announce that Bruno Senna will race alongside Vitaly Petrov at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

“Bruno will attend the Official FIA Press Conference tomorrow at 15.00.

“A press release with further details on the matter will be issued tomorrow morning.”

He joins the team in place of Nick Heidfeld, who has been driving for the team as a substitute for the injured Robert Kubica.

Senna and Heidfeld drove for the team in pre-season testing before Heidfeld was given Kubica’s place.

Heidfeld has narrowly out-scored team mate Vitaly Petrov 34 to 32 over the first 11 races of the year. But Petrov has out-qualified him 8-3.

Team principal Eric Boullier indicated his dissatisfaction with the team’s performance earlier this year. Senna drove Heidfeld’s car during the first practice session in Hungary.

Senna is one of the team’s two third drivers along with GP2 championship leader Romain Grosjean.

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Image © Renault/LAT

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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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129 comments on “Bruno Senna replaces Nick Heidfeld at Renault”

  1. Heidfeld should retire, he is too old. I think it’s good that Senna was granted another chance after a season in uncompetetive car.

    1. He’s not too old. He is only 34, not much older than the likes of Jenson and Fernando, no one is calling for them to retire.

      The fact of the matter is he is just not very good, which is a shame, i like Nick.

      1. Fernando and Jenson are world championship with double digit victorys. Heidfeld doesn’t compare.

        1. That wasnt my point, my point was that he shouldnt be told to retire because of his age he should be to to retire because he isnt that good.

          1. also Nick is 4 years older than Alonso. and 3 years older than JB.
            must make him one of the oldest grid member after Barrichello and Schumacher but they are old enough to remember Noahs arc

          2. I believe Petrov should also be told to retire because he isn’t good.

            Yes, the expectation for Heidfeld was high, but the fact is that he is scoring more points with more DNF compared to Petrov. They should give Petrov seat to Senna. Of course $ talks… or in this case Ruble.. :)

            I agree with you though that age shouldn’t matter as long as the driver can perform. The big question mark is whether Heidfeld was severely under performing or Petrov was improving a lot.

      2. He is good,hence why he often is in the points. He just can’t qualify half decently.

      3. Has he ever had a competitive car? I doubt.
        What’s the money situation behind Bruno that everyone is talking about?
        Was he that good at the beginning of the season, as he is now?
        Because if yes, NH shouldn’t have been invited to Renault at all.

        1. I guess at the start of the year, they had a lot of development they needed an experienced hand for to finish.
          Now they will have come to the conclusion, that it is not worth it (for lack of money and development scope with the car) to do so.

          Making a promising talent a better choise. Not sure Senna is that talent, but we might just find out about that in the next few races.

        2. Genii Capital has entered into a partnership with another Private Equity Investment Company that wants to concentrate its investment in South America. Having Senna in the car dovetails nicely with this model. Synergy I believe its called in the business world.

    2. Ben Wilkinson
      24th August 2011, 19:17

      if senna races (whitch he will) he proberbly will score points beating everyone else in 2010 new teams to actuly have a better contract NOT racing!

      1. 34 was once seen as about your peak sort of age…someone explain to me why that should of changed? have we evolved in the space of 10 years? dont think so

        anyway back to renault. no reason to get rid of nick. he has been better than petrov. ok that isnt saying much to be honest. but considering the team seem to of had it in for him last few months im not sure what more he could of done.

        if senna has the sort of weekend chandhok had when he did a one of race then renault will look very very silly.

        The only decent thing renault have done in recent years was hire Robert and that had nothing to do with the current managers

        1. probably due to fitness levels, as more forces are applied to the body now.

          1. What I’m hearing from other sports is that modern sports medicine is helping players maintain their fitness levels to an older age.

        2. I believe Chandok drove for Team Lotus. Gets confusing….

          1. yeah i know but it was the other lotus, but my point was how rubbish someone looked when they didnt have any proper testing or practice.

          2. And I agree. It’s not fair to Heidfeld or Senna.

        3. It’s totally bonkers!! Look how long its taken Webber to get up to speed with the Pirellis, and he used to be regarded as a bit of a tyre specialist. Senna is in for a tough time.

          1. Absolutely agree…

        4. When discussing why the peak age for driving performance seems to be younger these days, I was immediately reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” that I read recently. In it it repeatedly mentions (and statistically backs up) the “10,000 hour rule” – If a person puts in 10,000 hours of dedication into something then they are more likely to catch a wave of success and be world class at it.

          When viewed in the context of F1 it implies that because the Lewis Hamiltons and Robert Kubicas of the world started karting at age 4, they have hit the 10,000 hour mark well before others in the field (Schumacher) and are seeing success at a younger age.

          That’s not to say that they are more talented, it just suggests that most people share the same requirements to achieve world class status and all it takes is dedication to actually get there.

          Obviously it puts a little spin on the likes of Nick Heidfeld where either he has a bit less drive (no pun intended) than the other guys, or he has had less opportunity for consistent racing due to his bouncing-all-over-the-place career.

          It’s an interesting theory (and book) anyways.

  2. Shame. Quite an unceremonious way to dump a driver who has been in F1 for over a decade. Heidfeld was hardly setting the world on fire, but Senna has shown little in his career to suggest he’ll be any better.

    Actually, I’d go as far as suggesting that Senna- Petrov is possibly the worst driving line up on the grid right now…

    1. Yes, I agree. With Renault’s car going backwards, I think removing the experience in their team isn’t necessarily the best option – although money and other factors are of course important as well.

      It will be interesting to see what happens if Sauber and Force India do start catching them in the standings. Will they bring Heidfeld back? I don’t think they could afford to get any less money by dropping below 5th.

      PS: I love the pun in your post!

      1. With so few points available for positions 7-10, it’s hard to see any of those two catching Renault. So it probably makes sense to evaluate drivers for next season, if they took the decision not to re-hire Heidfeld(by Boullier’s comments, such a decision was taken at least a month ago). Add to this a probable financial benefit from Senna’s sponsors(even accounting for the fact that they’ll probably have to pay Heidfeld’s base salary for the rest of the season) and you begin to see the logic behind the move. Sad for Heidfeld, but this is F1 for you.

        1. They’re lucky they got some early points on the board with the podiums at Melbourne and Sepang. Take away those 30 points and they’d be roughly neck and neck with Sauber

    2. I wonder if Senna is guaranteed the next eight races or if they’re already considering giving Grosjean a few starts?

      I mean, they must have given up on beating Mercedes to fourth in the constructors championship.

      Shame to see Heidfeld go, particularly as he’s beaten Petrov 5-2 in races where both have finished. But it’s not as if he hasn’t had many previous seasons in F1.

      The qualifying performance gap is particularly worrying – he’s been half a second off Petrov on average. Petrov in turn was a long way off Kubica last year. Now, I’m sure Petrov has improved since last year, but do we really think he’s immediately come up to Kubica’s level? I don’t, in which case Heidfeld’s relative performance looks pretty poor.

      Here’s his form guide for comparison:

      Nick Heidfeld 2011 form guide

      I better go start building one for Senna…

      1. Qualifying was never Heidfeld’s strength though, but he can pull a race result out of anywhere. Just look at his record in weird/wet/changeable/bizarre races.

        I think Petrov’s definitely improved a lot as well. Even last year his optimal pace was quite close to Kubica (look at Turkey, Hungary or Abu Dhabi), he just wasn’t consistent. This year, he’s removed most of the errors, so it’s not a surprise he’s doing relatively better.

        1. I do see more promise in Grosjean. But he needs to get his GP2 title this time around.
          I have a feeling we will see him race this year!

          1. Grosjean already has the chance in F1 and has done nothing, its just normal his GP2 performance, like Maldonado and Senna itself.
            no less is expected from him, i think Senna will be racing in Interlagos unless he mess up totally.

          2. I really don’t understand this view of Grosjean, MacBromb.

          3. I just think that just because he is doing well in GP2 does not mean that he will make great things in F1, we already have seen he racing in f1 and he was average, for sure he is better now, but i really dont think he will possibly do much better than Bruno or Nick. Even in that way i think is likely that we will see him in a couple of fridays or even a race this year in the Renault. And Bruno deserve his chance, we have to wait and see, its cool, no doubt, for the fans see the brazilian flag colors helmet in a black lotus again… :)

          4. Jarred Walmsley
            24th August 2011, 23:22

            In fairness to Grosjean MacBromb he was dumped into a uncompetive Renault midway through the season, I think he deserves another chance

          5. Yeah it’s true. Can’t wait for the weekend…
            we will have a measure of the renault’s new line up performance. \o/

          6. Also he was teamed with Alonso, and in the Renault team at that time the second driver really was considered as just somebody to fill the space alongside Alonso. Piquet may not be a trustworthy source, but he spoke about how poor his car was next to Alonso’s, who had every update first and rarely at the same time as Piquet. I think things conspired to make Grosjean look a lot worse than he is.

      2. What happens when Kubica comes back? Or is he?

        1. It’ll be Kubica and Petrov, I hope.

      3. tho worrying to be that far of the pace in qualy, points are scored in the race and in that sector nick has been the better man

        perhaps its a bigger reflection on how poor petrov’s races are. 2 or 3 good races in 2 seasons isnt good enough IMO.

      4. Well, I think Senna will have the driver at least for the Brazilian Grand Prix…. it wouldn’t make sense if he hadn’t. But it’s possible the team will rotate Senna and Grosjean, which might be bad for both in terms of mileage…

      5. I wonder if Senna is guaranteed the next eight races or if they’re already considering giving Grosjean a few starts?

        According to the Autosport article on the subject, the team will release a full statement detailing their plans on Thursday.

        What confuses me is the presence of both Grosjean and Kubica. The team obviously want to try and get Kubica into the seat by the end of the year if it’s possible. He’s going into surgery later this week, which will provide a more-definitive answer as to whether or not he can return.

        The problem is that teams are only permitted to run four drivers over the course of the season. As far as I know, this rule is still in place. Petrov and Heidfeld form two of those drivers. Senna is the third, and Kubica would be the fourth. So how does Romain Grosjean fit into all of this? They want to get him back into the sport, but with Petrov, Senna, Kubica and Heidfeld, they’ve already used up their quota. What’s more, Grosjean has a twenty-five point lead in GP2 and there are only thirty-two more points on offer. He can win the title with a second place in the feature race at Spa. If Renault want a) Heidfeld out and b) Grosjean in, why couldn’t they wait two more weeks to drop Heidfeld and let Grosjean in without using up a driver change?

        I can only imagine that the plan is to run both Senna and Grosjeand in car #9, and then apply to the FIA for a special dispensation to let Robert Kubica drive at the end of the year if it’s possible.

        1. PM, I think it’s the right decision.

          There are 2 important factors, 1 we don’t know about

          1) How will Grojean take an F1 car this time round? He gets the rookie test anyway, while Senna is already on hand to test and compare.

          2) How fast is Senna in the sim?

          We know he has progressed through the categories quickly, so his ability to pick things up should be pretty good, however, having not had time in the sim properly before his testing test Heidfeld may hve been the better option. If Senna has shown considerable improvement since then in the sim, then it Renault may be interested in seeing how Senna takes an F1 car in real life.

          It’s quite obvious that at the start of the year Senna didn’t get the seat, and now he does, so something has changed. If Senna had money, then hee most probably would have before. So I’m going to guess Senna has impressed and improved hence giving him the seat opportunity.

          Grojean can wait, he’s in GP2, has the young driver test, needs to be put into the car etc… We don’t know if Kubica returns.

          What would happen if you left the 2 seats for Kubica who couldn’t return and Grojean who you wait for months for only to not be good enough in an F1 car? Quite immenant problems would be the answer.

          They have Senna on hand, they don’t know how Kubica will come back, no point saving seats for coulda shoulda, test teh drivers now. Kubica probably will need sim work before getting back into the car so he may not need one anyway.

          Senna: Gets to show his ability in an F1 car properly, if he is good keep him, if not ditch him. Contract can then be resolved
          Grojean: Give him experience to finish the GP2 season, if Senna goes bad, then move him in, if Senna is good then give him the end of season tests
          Kubica: Wait for medical reports. Chances he wont race again, or will next year, not this year.

          Petrov: Adds a bit of pressure having another driver showing his worth and beating him. Might give a boost to him

          1. I think you slightly overcomplicate it, there are not two important factors at play, simply one: Whose cheque clears on time.

            I doubt we’ll see Kubica next year, if ever again, so that at least gives Genii some temporary elbow room, only three pay drivers to squeeze into two seats.

        2. According to the Autosport article on the subject, the team will release a full statement detailing their plans on Thursday.

          As I wrote in this article.

          1. Well, why are you asking the question if you already know the answer?

          2. Obviously I’m not. I was simply advancing the discussion by raising a talking point. This did not need pointing out to anyone but you.

      6. Unless he’s absolutely rubbish, I think Bruno will see out the season – which ends in Interlagos.

        Assuming Nick doesn’t lawyer up, of course.

      7. @ Keith…lol…had to clean my glasses and reread to ensure you weren’t talking about MS vs. NR…MS half a second off NR in quali, usually beaten in races they both finish…not as if MS hasn’t had many previous seasons in F1 …just being cheeky here…however…

        Seriously though…I do feel bad for NH in that for whatever reason it hasn’t worked out and he must be extremely disappointed…he not doubt would have loved to shine…and it’s not like driving jobs in F1 are plentiful…maybe NH was never WDC material, or he just never had the car, but I do think that if the current Renault was better he’d have shown that…ie. I believe he is better than the car, but Renault obviously have their reasons for doing what they have.

    3. Wrong decision in my opinion. Let’s wait and see though, I could be proven wrong, but I prefer Nick to Bruno.

    4. I don’t think it’s the right decision. At the start of the year, I wanted Bruno in instead of Nick as Robert’s replacement because I wanted him to be able to prove himself. But now that they’ve started with Heidfeld, they should have at least kept him in a seat until the end of the year for continuity’s sake. So I’m happy for Bruno, but sad for Nick, because they’ve put him in a very difficult position where it will be hard for him to find a seat for next year, if ever. If Bruno had started the year with Renault, then Nick wouldn’t have been mucked around and could have found something else. I think they’ve ruined him a bit by doing this.

  3. This whole situation makes me think that Renault are fairly sure Kubica won’t be back for the start of 2012.

    They obviously are fairly keen to audition Senna and Grosjean for the future, and Heidfeld’s age has counted against him.

  4. Hope he does well, as I like the Senna name back in a F1 car.

    But the way Renault did this move was just wrong, IMO. I doubt Senna will bring them any more speed or experience to develop the car. Whatever Renault wanted Nick to do, Senna’s not gonna do it either.

    1. I agree that he won’t necessarily do it right away, but a shakeup was needed. Renault was going backwards fast and Nick has not put in shining results lately. Continuing with the same thing will only garner the same results. At the very least they are responding.

      1. Ya I agree. Never been much of Nick fan but would have preferred Renault just dropped him and said they wanted to give Bruno a chance rather than say Nick was a disappointment first.

        Bruno is a likeable fella but doubt he is any quicker than not so quick Nick. The reason he is getting the drive is the Brazilian money he is bringing. Remember how Klien showed him up at HRT.

        1. that was a reflection of how good klien is/was. he was so young when he entered F1 and did very well too. at times showing webber and DC the way. Was crazy he was left without a drive. and remember how appalling chandhok was when he returned shows how brilliantly klien did to beat senna at a track like singapore with no testing

          But yes id rather renault were honest and said ‘ we are not sure on robert so need to evaluate what we have, we cant dumb petrov as he has more money than talent, so nick has to make way’ lol

  5. yes! glad to see Bruno will be racing this weekend. Sorry, Nick, you’ve had your fair share of time behind the wheel of an F1 car, time to let someone else have a crack at it.

  6. I do hope they actually acknowledge nick in this statement which is due tomorrow, this mini press statement is a bit “Oh look we have a Senna!!”

  7. Pity for Nick, he was always on fire with that Lotus Renault!!!!

    In my opinion, Brunno is a good driver, but not much better that Nick. Romain is realy good this year, and I think that the team should concider giving him the chance to race in 2012. Vitaly has a contract for next season and I am pretty sure that Robert will not be 100% until March.

    1. always on fire

      Hahah! great one!

  8. Dimitris 1395 (@)
    24th August 2011, 18:44

    I think Bruno has to be given a chance to prove his talent he had showed in GP2. Does he participate in winter testing? What times had he done?

  9. I look forward to seeing Senna be fantastically ordinary and for Grosjean to be the second driver next year.

    1. Grosjean has got to be the most overrated French man in history.

      1. Yeah this has really taken me by surprise, People say Grosjean deserves another drive and make it sound like Senna doesnt, When they both has bad cars to use in there first seasons. In saying this though I am a Senna fan and hope he does well and I hope he gets a seat next year.

    2. Second driver to who Kubica? I wouldn’t count that chicken just yet.

    3. Senna’s an underdog. He didn’t race for 10 years, jumped back in and made steady progress. He may not have shown himself to be spectacular yet, but that’s because he’s one step behind everybody and must still be on the learning curve more than his competitors. I think it would be brilliant to see Senna do well, partly because of his name but also because his route to F1 wasn’t at all normal.

  10. I never like the idea of replacing a driver midway through the season but Renault seem to have funding issues. I would have thought it’d make more sense replacing him with Grojean. Neither have really raced in competitive F1 cars but Grojean’s performance in the lower formulae suggests that he’s a great talent.
    I wish Senna all the best and maybe we’ll get a proper opportunity to judge his talent in an F1 car. Don’t see him out performing Petrov just yet though. We’ll have to wait and see.

    1. Grosjean is unavailable. But as others stated, he will probably ghet a chance later on.

      For the rest, I guess that Renault made a businesscase based on the choice between guaranteed money from Senna, or unguaranteed money for WCC points.

      1. Was kinda half looking, half concentrating on your comment and read “Verstappen is unavailable” quickly thinking *** before quickly reading again! :)

  11. There is no reason not to try a change. They have a safe slot in the constructors title and why not prepare for Kubica not being able to return.

    1. The Last Pope
      24th August 2011, 19:58

      Or Kubica not wanting to return to this shambles of a team. Heidfeld is also too good for them.

      1. I agree. Who would want to be part of such a joke of a team?

  12. That’s just ridiculous, but that’s business and F1.
    You can blame a few points lost on a low grid position at Heidfeld, but also a LOT of points lost on a higher grid position that couldn’t be converted into massive race positions at Petrov. And what does it mean, if you can’t really perform on 1 hot lap? Tyre warming issues. And what do tyre warming issues mean? Softer approach on driving. Kubica drove aggressively, and destroyed Petrov last year on qualis. If Petrov learned something from the Pole, is driving aggressively on one lap. Jenson Button won his championship with usually outqualified by his teammate. Button is also down to Lewis Hamilton this year in qualifyings because of their different approach and drive style.
    Not to mention that this years Renault is way too far from last years standard. And last years car was pretty much based on Alonsos “taste” and development, as that cars developing started way back in 2009. This years car was based on Kubicas “additions”.
    Next years Renault is based on Heidfeld. You can’t really imagine that a 1,5 season experienced Petrov or a 1 season Senna or a 7 races Grosjean can provide the inputs for a new car. And I have the feeling, that next years Renault will be strong…

    1. It’s all about the money Senna is bringing from some Brazilian investment. There are constant rumors of Renault in severe financial trouble.

      Renault have been releasing statements recently about how disappointed they are in Heildfeld but its probably to just take away from the fact this is about money rather than talent.

      1. But it’s always about money. they should have thought of placing Senna in first place if it was about money.
        I think it’s just bad managing. Looks bad for their future. I would not bet my money on them nor any of their drivers even if Kubica was returning tomorrow. Nothing will change.
        They’re not going anywhere.

        1. I suggest they should take a year off and comeback with a decent management-sponsors.
          Too bad for a team for whom I had high respect but now I favour Force India and Sauber more.

          1. Senna only got the Brazilian sponsorship recently which helps explain why didn’t happen sooner.

          2. hmm, makes sense but still looks bad for business IMO. Flavio should replace Eric :)

  13. I hate them both. If Bruno didnt have the name, he would be nowhere, never mind F1.

    He is only there as a marketing tool. He’s paying for his drive with the media attention he will bring to Renault.

    1. He came second in GP2 in 08. A spec series. He wasn’t spectacular but he clearly belongs in motorsport, and may well perform well in F1.

      1. Interestingly, Senna’s GP2 career lines up quite closely with his new team mate’s.

        They did their first full seasons in 2007 (Petrov had already done eight races in 2006), and Senna out-scored Petrov 34 to 21.

        The following year Senna was runner-up on 64, Petrov scored 39.

        Senna didn’t race in GP2 in 2009, Petrov scored 75 and finished second behind Nico Hulkenberg.

        They both had somewhat unconventional paths to F1 prior to that, as well. Senna’s was disrupted because he was out of motor racing for several years after Ayrton’s death while his peers were all plugging away in karts or similar. Whereas Petrov started off racing Ladas in Russia.

        1. I think that’s why I like Senna. The name is good, but having not raced for 10 years and still performed as well as he has in smaller series is impressive.

          1. I like Petrov for the same thing though. But it is interesting to see how they compare now that Petrov has about 12 races more experience in F1 than Senna has

  14. Bigbadderboom
    24th August 2011, 20:17

    F1 seat for sale! Genuine reason for sale (run out of money) 1 careful owner, needs slight mechanical attention but has potential. Price £2million ono. If interested call Eric 07……… Sad but true!

  15. I feel very bad for Nick. the only obvious reason is money, which Senna can bring to them. I hoped Nick would race at Spa, he was good in changing weather situations before. The car is bad, but bad was also the 2009 BMW and Nick finished second in Malaysia.
    I am one of his fans, but it has to be said Quick Nick is not that quick anymore. Since 3 seasons ago in fact. Before that he was good in qualifying too. I remember 2005, when he was at Williams with Webber(who is and always was regarded as an one-lap specialist) he got one pole and not only out-races the Australian at every race, but he also outqualified him almost all the time. And he only got that drive in a shoot-out!
    Too bad that such a promising career ended this way:(

    1. No doubt he’s been talented driver just that he should have psychologically grown throughout his career which I think he hasn’t. At times, reminds me of DC.

      1. Totally agree with you Suka. More, he gave me the impression that after the 2008 season he started to be satisfied by just being there, he lost his ambition, lost some speed at some point after the BMW transfer.

        1. Remember Nick still beat Robert on points in 2009 despite a string of really unfortunate events. As far as lost speed – during his time with BMW Sauber he had two fastest laps against Robert’s none. Even this season (which is admittedly not a strong one) he is doing better than Michael Schumacher who is in a faster/better overall car. Nick has way more overtaking maneuvers than Petrov. Who cares about qualifying – it scores no points for the team, rather optimise the car for the race which is what I think Nick has done. I doubt Robert would Renault to Renault next year if there were other choices on offer.

    2. Cristian, Heidfeld was never that good in qualifying. He just wasn’t as bad at it as this season. And your memories of 2005 season are quite wrong. Heidfeld lost more times to Webber in qualifying than not. His pole position was the result of Webber being fuelled 6 laps longer so fuel corrected Webber was 0.35sec faster. And in the races Heidfeld got marginally better results only because of Webber’s bad luck with reliability.
      Don’t know about promise,ever since I watched him fight for the F3000 crown with Montoya in 1998(and lose it), my opinion of him was as a very good solid driver, but not one destined for greatness and I was proved correct. Not for 1 second could you doubt who was ultimately the faster of the two(Montoya). Same when he was a rookie in 2000 Prost against Alesi, and in 2001 vs Raikkonen. Even if he scored more points than Kimi that season, I could never see that little bit extra spark in him that makes a very good driver a potential great, as I saw in Kimi. Apparently so couldn’t Dennis and Haug.

      Nick had 10 years, to prove the doubters, like me, wrong. He hasn’t done so, and it’s time to say goodbye. I would prefer him to see off the season and announce retirement, but F1 is a cold unforgiving environment, a piranha club. so thats just the way it goes.

      1. I think you got 2005 all wrong. Webber was that year only once on podium, a third place in Monaco. Who was second at that race? Heidfeld! Heidfeld also had a few other podiums and far better results than his teammate, including a pole. That Williams wasn’t a pole position car at all.

        1. Am I? The qualifying score between them was 9-5 to Webber, but this was a year when the top 10 had to start on race fuel so actually the real qualifying score was 11-3 to Webber. As I already said above that time when Heidfeld scored pole, Webber was 6 laps worth of fuel heavier so fuel corrected he was 0.35 sec faster than Heidfeld.
          Nick scored 3 podium finishes, Mark 1. But, Webber had suffered being hit by other drivers, while in scoring and podium positions. For example at that same race at Nurburgring Webber(3rd on the grid) got hit by Montoya on the first lap and retired. While in 3rd place in Malaysia he was hit stupidly by Fisichella and retired. so that’s why I said that the points score which was 28-26 to Heidfeld wasn’t representative of what happened.

          1. Heidfeld wasn’t exactly immune to bad luck either in 2005. In Australia Schumacher left him no space and Heidfeld was never going to be able brake hard enough on the grass. In Bahrain and Canada his engine failed. Webber mostly went backwards in the races, whilst Heidfeld usually finished ahead of Webber.

          2. What you say is a common misconception. In races they both finished, only 3 times Nick finished ahead of Mark(exactly the same number as Mark finished ahead of him when both finished). Of those, only two were after Mark was higher on the grid, Imola and Monaco, and in Monaco it was because Webber had a bad pitstop.
            Heidfeld’s troubles in the races you’ve mentioned don’t contradict any of what I’d said. Both of my replies to Christian’s incorrect claims about the 2005 season(including such as “outqualified Webber at almost every race and out-raced him at every race” or “had far better results than Webber”) were factually correct.

          3. Both your replies to my correct claims are interpretations based on “If’s”. Placing the foundations on your thinking on this kind of arguments diminishes the value of your ideas as a whole, because correct conclusions can’t come from flawed premises, except from the case when the thinking itself is flawed.
            You don’t like Heidfeld. Ok, it’s your right to opinion. But that year also every driver had one lap for qualifying, no room for mistake. A pole with Williams that year was no mean feat given any circumstances.
            Also you forget to mention that after one third of the year BMW was pushing to buy Sauber, and their colaboration with Williams hit the rocks. Heidfeld was a BMW driver, so Williams even fired him towards the end of the year. Surely a driver that was fired didn’t have a good relationship with the team for some races.
            The races when Webber finished ahead of Heidfeld were mainly in the second part of their partnership, when the Williams was getting worse and he already signed for BMW.
            Also, Heidfeld impressed more in the races , from the eye-cathing point of view! He beat Webber at almost everything that year, and claiming otherwise is like claiming Montoya didn’t beat Ralf, these two pairings being somewhat evenly matched in my opinion.

          4. No, they’re not based on if’s.

            You said: Heidfeld out-qualified Webber. I showed you it’s not true. the score was 9-5 to Webber even discounting fuel! With fuel taken into account it’s 11-3, a destruction.

            You said: Heidfeld had far better results.
            Even discounting the way the races unfolded, 28-26 to Heidfeld in the points standings is not “far better”, its margianlly better results.

            And now, you add a third factually incorrect claim: That Heidfeld was somehow was sabotaged by Williams, proved by the “fact” that Webber’s best results relative to Heidfeld came near the end of their partnership, right? Wrong! take a look here and see that the results are spread evenly during the season with Heidfeld ahead in his last two races in Hungary(6th vs WEB 7th) and Turkey(both retired with Heidfeld ahead). In short there’s no evidence to what you claim and by the way, Webber’s qualifying dominance was even more evident at the start of the season than at the end even.

            In Heidfeld’s last 6 races for the team ever since it was announced that BMW’s leaving Williams the results of the team deteriorated. All the team not just Nick. Actually in that period Nick scored 2 points more than Mark which was the meagre difference between them in the end. There’s absolutely no evidence to what you claim and no good reason at all for you to question Williams’ team integrity. You’re just trying to make excuses without checking the facts first, “shooting in the dark”.

            So I suggest that you take a good look at the wikipedia page, if you don’t remember the season good enough, before making untrue claims. And this has nothing to do with my alleged dislike of Heidfeld(also not true-I don’t dislike him I just never thought him as top drawer). Making untrue claims about the 2005 season won’t bring Nick up to top level.

          5. If you’d watched the 2005, you’d agree Heidfeld was better that year. You are taking facts out of context and, by doing this, you are trying to support your claims. The facts are: only one of them took the results when it mattered = only one of them delivered. Webber’s points were out of podium, so he didn’t make races above the car like Heidfeld did. And I don’t even have to look on statistics to support this view, since at the beginning of the year Webber was better rated than Heidfeld, and at the end the other one was better rated.

  16. Sasha Markovich
    24th August 2011, 21:01

    What age, folks?
    I totally don’t understand all those comments considering Nick growing old. He’s only 34! Webber is 35, for example. Those saying Nick is old and slow are either teenagers or simply sick. We all got used to these kids on the grid — Vettel, Hamilton, Alguersuari, Ricciardo. They all are very young, not Heidfeld old.
    As to the subject — I don’t think Bruno will do any better. And if the team try to interchange him with Grosjean — they will do no better than HRT very soon.

  17. The way I see there are two possibilties. One is LRGP know that Kubica is not coming back next session and are looking for a young talent which they can benefit from in the future. Two they are rather sure that Kubica will be back and fit two race next session and want to give the young guns some attention they’ve been waiting for. After all you will not become a F1 legend by burning rubber and doing donuts on future GP venues.

  18. two=to sorry english is my third language and I am not very good at writing.

    1. Nah your english is brilliant buddy. Its better then some people who speak english as a first language :)

      1. Case in point: “…better then…” :D

  19. I just çan’t understand this. It’s not like Senna’s gonna score points.

  20. I have no doubt they will be giving Grosjean the drive as soon as he wraps up the gp2 title.

    What a shambles

  21. Heidfeld is probably not too bothered. If a car I was driving tried set fire to my backside every five minutes I’d kick it into touch…

  22. I want to see Bruno get a chance, I will be rooting for him, as I did for Chandok, They are great personalities and seem like stand up guys.

    I believe with the international success of the Senna movie, they might feel that he might bring more fans to the team because non-f1 fans who see the movie might feel interested in watching the nephew.

  23. Boullier has found a new way to distract from the disastrous technical development of the car. He can blame heidfeld but what modern f1 cars explode in flames on their own? Oh, and it’s slow. Halfway through the season and still dont know if the trick exhaust works. Heidfeld is not an engineer. Or a magician.

    What a solution. Sack the experienced guy and bring in the guy barely quicker than Yamamoto. Then bring back another f1 flame-out Grosjean. If kubica does not return what are they left with? Boullier needs to go.

    1. I don’t think that Boullier is making all the decision making in that team….. so he is not to blame IMO. The car was good at the start of the season, so was the MERC but the 3 teams now are out of reach. Now they need money to make a title fighting 2012 challenger so they need Brunno. It is simple.

  24. I’d bet that Senna is faster than Petrov this weekend.

    1. I’ll gladly take this bet.
      Do you remember Singapore last year? Where Klien got back into an f1 car after several seasons on the sideline and outqualified Senna by a whole second with no experience with the car? That was the same Bruno Senna that was only marginally faster than Yamamoto.
      Petrov is going to blitz him, and Boullier can’t even pin all the blame for the results on Nick anymore

      1. This weekend i’m pretty sure he will be faster.On Hungary Bruno after 20 laps with the same tires was 0.7s from Petrov. I guess just wait and see

        1. Remember that was FP1 which tells us little to nothing about actual race/qualifying pace. I wish Bruno all the best but I really don’t see him getting anywhere near Petrov

  25. Good Luck! senna

  26. So it would seem the answer to the question: Who replaces the replacement in the replaced Renault team? is Bruno Senna. Is this the same team I was so impressed by in Melbourne this year?

  27. Maybe Kubica was correct when he picked Liuzzi as the best available driver to replace him in his absense.

  28. It’s obvious that Renault didnt like hiedfeld. Nick finishes in the points. Petrov retires. Look at teams response. Vitaly this and that. Oh nice points finish for Nick. The car is junk. Showed pace and promise early, nothing after. All the upgrades and both Nick and Vitaly are virtually identical in times. Yet further and further down in time.
    Good luck to nick enjoyed his F1 careeer, but the time has come to move on. Nick is a fall guy. Renualt, scrap this POS.


  29. Very good news. Bruno just like Hulkengburg and Grosjean deserves another chance. A proper chance. Imagine if the highly hyped/rated Ricciardo is dropped at the end of the season driving a HRT, almost all will complain that he deserves a proper chance in a proper car. So Bruno getting another chance has got nothing to do with his surname.

    As for Heidfeld, he got enough chances but IMO was not a winning driver. He is on the same level as Luizzi, Trulli, Barrichello…etc in another words not good enough/well past their peaks also so many talented young drivers are knocking the door. Nick should feel lucky that his career didn’t end at the end of 2009 with BMW. Last year he replaced Pedro and this year again became lucky because of Kubica.

    Goodbye Nick and Welcome Bruno. I will not be surprised if after 2-3 races he starts beating Petrov.

  30. I feel for Heidfeld, as I think he’s been unfairly dissed by Boullier despite doing a solid job. However, I do want to see Senna in the car, as he does deserve better than a season in a lousy car, not just for one race as we all have seen Chandok, almost a second a lap down pretty much the whole weekend…

    PS: They even removed Heidfeld’s name entirely from the LRGP website in the “Drivers” section

  31. I am a fan of Heidfeld and always have been. And I can understand why it’s a little harsh.

    However, if Renault really are ditching the development for the rest of this year, (which explains why their performance levels have dropped) then why not give Bruno some experience using the rest of a season that’s already slipped away from them, and at the same time use him to measure Petrov’s skill and vica versa?

    I’m actually really looking forward to seeing how Senna does.

    I’m actually really looking forward

    1. Woops ;)

    2. shame about the edit button, eh.

      I am not that big a fan of Nick (I really tried, living in M’Gladbach when he got into F1, but he’s just not my cup of tea), but clearly his most valuable skill to Renault and why they hired him must have been car development. And getting regular dependable results.
      I guess he always had a deal that would end when Kubica returned (they might have been over optimistic – wishfull thinking).

      The car is just not good enough (and having been developped with an eye on Kubica) and not best suited to Heidfeld. Why not boost the coffers and give Senna experience, then Grosjean can get a stint in the car to evaluate as well.

      If they had known Kubica would not return this year (we can still hope he does return) or felt he might not return at all, they would have probably taken someone like Huelkenberg with some experience, including test work for a sub-top Williams team, and promising speed for the future.

  32. Renault should dump the team. Deriding your drivers in public trying to leverage them out of their contract and seat is bad form and bad for the Renault brand. What does Genii care when it isn’t their brand. Kubica is a bad proposition as it stands, talk about him returning is mouth music. Lopez is a creep.

    1. They are trying for over a year now. Just Lotus who wanted to rename it didn’t think about reading the small letters and are not able to rename the team.
      So I guess we will have to wait for someone else to step in.

  33. I thought maybe he’d have gotten it in place of Heidfeld at the beginning of the season. At that time, Robert’s accident was bittersweet for me, as I feared greatly for Kubica, but felt Senna would be given the opportunity, at least until suitable (non-heidfeld) alternative could be secured.

    Its going to be very emotional for me to watch this weekend, that yellow helmet in the JPS-type livery. This track was one of his uncle’s favorites, let’s hope it goes well for him.

  34. The statement says at this weekend does it somehow mean that Nick may get a second chance in the future if Senna fails to perform well?

    1. Or maybe if his lawyers do a good job?

  35. Sergio Perez
    25th August 2011, 5:29

    I have to say I’m excited. Yes, its not the same person, but Bruno was way better than Karun on HRT days. He was indeed outperformed by Liuzzi when Liuzzi first went into the team, but in the last HRT races (I think it was interlagos?) he actually outperformed Liuzzi. The big question here is consistency and “drive”: Does Bruno have the “fire” to be in F1? He has the advantage and the burden of bearing the surname of the best driver of all time, that opens doors but also creates very big pressure. He won at Monaco in a GP2 car, which is no easy feat, having the likes of current F1 drivers Petrov and others on the grid.
    I also liked Heidfeld, but he had his time. I was expecting him to actually win a race this year. The momentum has passed however, the team is concentrating in next year’s car, so we might as well be entertained with watching what Bruno is made of. I think he deserves tat least 3 race weekends for a correct evaluation of his skill. Its a shame its not Monaco, but Spa is also a “Drivers” circuit. Would love to see how he performs if it rains :)

    1. ehm, Liuzzi never raced for HRT last year. He had a full time drive at Force India.

      You will have meant to say Christian Klien being next to Senna at HRT (an understandable mistake, as these two – Klien+Liuzzi – were in that race share deal with Red Bull a few years back).

  36. Can’t help but feel for Nick.

    He was obviously never going to be Renault’s first choice but after Kubica’s accident in February Renault could not afford to take a gamble with Senna or another rookie. Points make prizes and the two drivers between them are pretty much on an equal footing. Boullier, in my opinion has been a little harsh on him in the past.

    That said I hope Senna does well and it will be good to see him racing again.

  37. In a way I’m happy for Heidfeld, as he doesn’t have to put up with a team who clearly have little to no respect for him.

    1. and should still get payed, if I get the information right :-)

      1. I simply cannot understand why anyone has a soft spot for “Quick Nick”, which he more often than not was not.

        As for a Kubica return – and this is coming from a huge fan – it is ridiculous to expect him showing up anytime this season. He’s just had another elbow operation. It’s almost September. How the hell is that supposed to heal and be strong enough to cope with the G-forces of F1 anytime soon?

        It will be very interesting to see what Senna (and hopefully Grosjean) can do second time round with an F1 car. I’m not preparing to be surprised but I hope I am.

        Spa next. Woohoo!

  38. Let’s face it, Nick sadly never had a chance. The team chose him for developing the car and updates. Now they’ve ran out of money for development, it’s exit Nick. Senna’s in, and so is his money. And Renault doesn’t even exist anymore as a constructor, it’s just a Renault badged engine in a chassis for some investment company. Nick got played big time by the team with all the dirt throwing around in the press. He didn’t deserve to be treated that way, but that’s what the team is all about these days. See you in court GENII CAPITAL ‘scarface’ company…..
    And word of advice to Kubica; DON’T COME BACK TO THE SINKING SHIP. IF you’re able to return, do it somewhere else. Not the snakepit.

  39. And to Bruno; Best Of Luck! You know what the team is all about these days. I understand he has to take his chances, sadly with the wrong team apparently.

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