Heidfeld has nothing to win by trying to sue his way back into the Renault team

Posted on August 25, 2011

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Renault’s decision to dump Nick Heidfeld in favour of Brazilian Bruno Senna on the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix has all the hallmarks of making a fine mess.

Even if Heidfeld can sue his way back, surely he couldn't work effectively with a team which fired him. Credit: Lotus Renault GP

There is no denying that the veteran German has had far from a glorious season. An early podium has been followed by poor qualifying on Saturdays and three DNFs on Sundays.

But for all that he is narrowly ahead of his much younger team mate Vitaly Petrov who, while looking better than in his rookie year, still looks for all the world like a pay driver.

And is there any serious reason to suggest Senna will do any better? Even given last year’s poor Hispania, he did little to shine. He’s turned just 25 laps on a Friday this season and Spa is not the place to arrive rusty. His name might make him a marketing dream but it would be sad to see both Renault seats filled on a cash basis.

Neither is Senna a long term replacement for Robert Kubica who, with the best will in the world, has to be unlikely to return from the horrific injuries he suffered on the eve of the season. Heidfeld may not be that man either but it’s an odd move to replace him now. Were I running Renault I’d have my sights on extracting Timo Glock from Virgin or Heikki Kovalainen from Team Lotus.

But all of that having been said, Heidfeld trying to sue his way back into the race seat is a sad move. He may not like the decision. Likely he will be owed a fair sum in damages for breach of contract. But in practice, does he think he’ll be able to perform in a team which has unsuccessfully tried to fire him?

Heidfeld has had a good but not great career. He never fulfilled his obvious potential and he will be reluctantly stuck with the record of most starts without a win. But it is now probably over for him and a day in court won’t change that.

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Posted in: Formula One, News