24 days before the formula 1 season opener, nick heidfeld’s return to the cockpit is complete. As expected, the driver from monchengladbach will replace the injured pole robert kubica at lotus renault. "I would have liked to return to formula 1 under different circumstances, but i am proud that i have been given this chance," heidfeld said in a press statement on wednesday evening. Team boss eric boullier spoke of the "ideal man for the job".
In his only test drive for lotus renault, heidfeld convinced the team right away: best time in the race. The rest was a matter of form, after the team had repeatedly emphasized that they wanted to sign an experienced driver for kubica. "The team has been through a difficult few weeks and we had to react quickly. We gave nick a chance last week in jerez and he really impressed us," explained boullier, whose decision was actually expected on monday after the test drives. Heidfeld is fast, experienced, gives strong feedback from a technical point of view and understands the car, boullier praised.
This is not the first time that heidfeld’s career has taken a decisive turn practically at the last printer. In his williams days, the now 33-year-old once learned of his re-signing only five minutes before the presentation. Last season he was a mercedes substitute and pirelli test driver, followed by a five-race stint with sauber at the end of the season.