Heidfeld wins Kubica’s race seat at Lotus Renault

Posted on February 16, 2011

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Nick Heidfeld will race for Lotus Renault while Robert Kubica is out recovering, the team announced today.

Heidfeld will race for Lotus Renault in place of the injured Kubica. Credit: Lotus Renault GP

The 33-year-old German, who tested the R31 on Saturday, will take the lead driver role in the team from this week’s test in Barcelona.

Kubica will be out for months, possibly the whole season, after seriously injuring his right arm, hand and leg in a rally crash.

But recruiting Heidfeld, who has started 172 races in more than a decade in the sport, will have been a no-brainer for the team.

The new car is clearly quick and it needs an experienced hand to develop it – something Kubica would have offered in spades and what the roster of reserve drivers, including Bruno Senna, simply could not deliver.

So Heidfeld, who is yet to win a race, gets another shot at the big time.

He said: “I would have liked to come back to Formula 1 in different circumstances, but I’m proud to have been given this chance. Everything has happened so quickly, but I’ve been very impressed by what I have seen so far in terms of the facilities and the dedication of the people at Enstone.

“I really enjoyed the test last week in Jerez and I’ve already settled in well with the guys at the track. I have a good feeling for the car, which is quite innovative. I’m extremely motivated and can’t wait for the season to begin.”

Driving for Lotus Renault is probably Heidfeld’s best chance yet to make a lasting impression on the sport, following spells with Sauber, Williams, Jordan and Prost in his career.

He’s always been consistent and reliable. Now it’s time to see if he genuinely has the pace.

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