Nick Heidfeld

Discussion in 'Drivers' started by HammydiRestarules, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. HammydiRestarules

    HammydiRestarules Di Resta fan :). Contributor

    Nick made his debut in F1 in the year 2000 for Prost Peugeot finishing his first season in the sport in 20th position scoring no points.

    In 2001 he moved to Sauber and was joined in the team by rookie Kimi Raikkonen and scored a respectable 12 points finishing 8th in the WDC standings for the midfield team beating his rookie teammate. At the end of 2001 is was widely reported that Nick would replace retiring F1 legend Mika Hakkinen at Mclaren but he was left disappointed because it was infact his rookie teammate that landed the drive at Mclaren ahead of him.

    So in the end he ended up spending another two seasons with Sauber paired with rookie Felipe Massa in 2002 scoring 7 points and in 2003 he was partner by fellow German Heniz-Harald Frentzen scoring 6 points.

    In 2004 Nick swapped Sauber for Jordon and was partnered by both Pantano and Glock at the team scoring JUST 3 points.

    In 2005 Heidfeld left Jordon and joined team Williams BMW partnering Austrailan Mark Webber after having a shoot out with Pizzonia for the second seat at Williams. Heidfeld went on to score 28 points that season for Williams. During that season he scored his first ever Pole Position and went on to claim 2 podiums.

    In 2006 Heidfeld and BMW left Williams and took over the Sauber team. Heidfelds teammate to begin with that season was former World Champion Jacque Villeneuve, but after Villeneuve hurt himself at the German GP, he was replaced by rookie Robert Kubica. Heidfeld in 2006 scored 23 points.

    In the seasons that followed Heidfeld stayed at BMW until their quit the sport back in 2009. In 2007 he scored 61 points, in 2008 he scored 81 points and in 2009 he scored 19 points.

    In 2010 he joined Mercedes GP as a test and reserve driver but at the Singapore GP he was drafted in too replace Pedro De La Rosa at the Sauber team he partnered Kamui Kobayashi for the rest of the season scoring 6 points.

    Now in 2011 Heidfeld is driver for the Renault Lotus team after former teammate Robert Kubica suffered a crash in a rally earlier in the year. He has currently scored 34 points so far and is partnered with former GP2 runner up Vitaly Petrov.

    Heidfeld's Career has been very steady, but what has Heidfeld got/had missing in him to make top teams take notice of him?
    Fenderman likes this.
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  3. I'll go to an era pre-2000 when Nick was going up against the likes of Juan Pablo Montoya and Gonzalo Rodriguez (may he rest in peace) in F3000 in 1998. 1999 brought some more young guns to the fore in Jenson Button and Bruno Junquiera, with the two having a 'shoot out' of sorts for the 2000 Williams seat. Kimi Raikkonen was yet another youngster out of that era...but with extremely limited experience.

    Raikkonen, Montoya and Button went on to win F1 races and either contest or win World Championships. Gonzalo Rodriguez was killed in an appaling crash at Laguna Seca in 1999 in an Indy/Cart car and Junquiera didn't do much (in my opinion)

    Regardless, Heidfeld has had his chances. He was helped along in his career by some big German firms, namely Mercedes-Benz and then BMW...but hasn't done anything special with the opportunities that were provided.

    But, hey, that's just an opinion and nothing else.
  4. Hey, hammy, how about starting a Juan Pablo thread! :) ;)
  5. Il_leone

    Il_leone Champion Elect

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    I concurrently totally agree which is why he was never able to elevate his status into a top driver
    His junior career from German F3 was backed by Mercedes - F3000 , Mclaren testing and I think a few sportscar races

    He got the Prost drive because Mclaren Mercedes said he could learn the ropes of F1 and did not he in a terrible year for Prost including crashing into ALesi in Austria
    His Sauber drive was because Mercedes still on good terms with Peter Sauber who use to run the sportscar team. When Hakkinen was leaving F1 ...everyone thought he was favourite as test driver with MErcedes influence BUT Ron said he prefer Kimi because Heidfeld was not good at PR

    With his career taken a setback he stayed at Sauber too long and Frentzen beating him could have ended his career....a last minute deal with Jordan salvaged some of his reputation at the back.

    With Williams searching for drivers for 2005 and Button doing a u-turn then Davison told by Nick Fry he was more important as tester to them than Williams. The door opened for Heidfeld due to insistence of Mario Thiessen to give him a go - the German connection ! He beat Pizzonia in a shoot out. He was very much a BMW man in the war between them and Williams in 2005.

    3 podiums - and 1 pole shown he outraced Webber who thought it was his time but he was judged to be not as fast over 1 lap. A bike accident meant he missed the end of the season which ended with him signing for BMW for 2006 and 2007

    Whilst outperforming JV it was only the introduction of Kubica he turned up his pace as Thiessen said he found half a second

    2007 was a solid year beating Kubica and coming out on top against Alonso in wheel to wheel battles.

    2008 tables turned and Kubica proved blindingly fast for him. The fateful decision of BMW to concentrate on 2009 and offer him more help with the car will go down as one of the strangest decisions given when Kubica won in Canada the position was

    RK 42pts 1st
    NH 28ts 4th

    by end of the season the points were

    RK 75pts 4th losing 3rd place in standings at the last race
    NK 60pts 6th including benefitting from Hamilton's spa penalty

    So all Mario ended up doing was stifle Kubica who still outscored Heidfeld
    This is not anti German statement but had Heidfeld been leading the championship instead Kubica Thiessen would have never made that decision since a German driver is leading the championship in a German car !

    2009 Heidfeld beat Kubica by 2pts but while his drives were steady solid , Kubica's varied but was remembered for his awesome performance in Melbourne before crashing and Interlagos down on power to still get a podium

    problem I see with Heidfeld is he only races well if there is weather changing or safety car is deployed often and its hard to remember a race where he shown exceptional speed from the word go to shout about

    He also does not strike you as a driver who can suddenly turn up the pace and be superquick like Button, Hamilton , Alonso can
  6. Il_leone

    Il_leone Champion Elect

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    Correction Heidfeld joined Williams because the CRB ruled that BAR had first option on Button who thought re-signing for Williams was the right thing to do based on his manager's advice then about Honda's long term commitment. Honda came round and said they are staying in F1 and wanted Button

    The tables turned 12 months later when Williams in decline due to splitting from BMW , Button u-turned and bought himself out of the contract with some help from Honda to do so
  7. teabagyokel

    teabagyokel #dejavu Valued Member

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    He is a solid driver. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Jean Alesi also scored nowt in that car.

    That was also a pretty pathetic machine.

    Don't look at whether he's exciting or brilliant (and if you insist upon doing so, watch a replay of the 2008 British Grand Prix where he was nothing less than superb), look at his results.

    Beat Kubica 2½ times out of their 3½ seasons in the same car. Quite impressive. In my view, Heidfeld is the perfect WCC-gaining Championship number 2.
  8. MCLS

    MCLS Anti F1 fan Valued Member

    You gotta be bad at PR if Raikkonen is better than you............... LOL
    F1ang-o and teabagyokel like this.
  9. Hehe! That was funny! ;)

    Here...It looks like Nick's looking forward to taking on Mercedes and has no shortage of Cheerleading skills:
  10. EvilWhippet

    EvilWhippet Podium Finisher

    Now I'll take a crack at proving Nick Heidfeld is the GOAT and getting the thread locked in one foul swoop!

    It's like the man's amateur career had everything bar olympic gold, his natural talent shone blindingly bright with
    Crazy speed in the single make series and all his rivals could do was hide in fear of his awsome power behind the K wheel, of a motor car. Certain drivers simply become one with their machine and Heidfeld is proof of this.
    Heed the notice that he was clean shaven at this point adn could have gone even quicker.

    Even in his first year in F1 is in an awful car but does the impossible and beats his vastly more experienced teammate
    In Jean Alesi.
    Does the teammate beating again next year year beats Raikkonen on equal terms.
    Ferrari would make Raikkonen a champ later in career, but he never forgot the
    Eloquent ass whooping Heidfeld handed to him.
    Later, 2002, Heidfeld
    Dominated Felipe Massa who would go on to miss out on the title by one point
    In 2008.
    So in 2004 he is given the atrocious Jordan and still beats both of is
    Teammates, as always.
    Heidfeld in 2005 was neck and neck with a primed Mark Webber, which is not as
    Easy as Seb makes it look.
    Getting on with it in 2006 he was now with BMW
    Readily beating two
    Teammates in Jacques and Robert. They tried though,
    Especially Robert who Scored well but was too late in
    The season to make a real impact.

    Even in 07 when Kubica had every chance to test and had driven races, he was no longer
    Very much a rookie, just another racing driver,
    Eager to impress, Heidfeld conclusively beat him.

    Heidfeld had grown his trademark beard for the 07 season, and got into the top five, beaten only by the dominant Ferraris and Mclarens. He drove like a man with the full force of naturally ability behind him. Some say Kubica has lots of natural ability, maybe that's what he was doing behind him? ;)
    In 2008 Kubica had his strongest season ever, actually beating Heidfeld by 15 points. But Heidfeld would be back in 09, making things right at 2-1 in the german's favour.

    In 2010 he was drafted in late, as he had disgustingly been left out of a race seat, with over the hill has beens who couldn't hold a candle to him and pay drivers clogging up the grid he only got a small amount of time in the car towards the end.

    In 2011 he's currently proving why he can't be beaten on equal terms: Despite everything going against him: Exploding cars, imploding tyres, self-masticating wings, he always finds a way to beat his lumbering Russian Teammate Vitaly Petrov. Raikkonen had two cars that maybe could've won the title before he actually did it, Heidfeld hasn't got one. Of course he deserves his shot to prove he can handle and defeat the greatest in the sport. It wasn't since Mark Webber years ago that he's been outpointed across a season without avenging it, and he's improved dramatically since then. So if any of them could beat him, why haven't they? Heidfeld is a classy human in and out of the car and deserves all the praise he gets, he's safe but exciting. He can pass and defend like the very best should but also know when to keep it cool. He almost always finishes and never causes collisions. A great driver in every sense of the word.
  11. EvilWhippet

    EvilWhippet Podium Finisher

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  12. MCLS

    MCLS Anti F1 fan Valued Member

    Hardly anything to shout about, the 2002 Massa was awful, he was dropped for a reason, he was nothing like the Massa of 2008.
  13. Ya. Massa was rarely consistent. Even in 2008 when he started with two howlers in Australia and Malaysia, leaving the press to call for his replacement.

    Why do you think McLaren didn't opt for him for 2002? Or for 2005? Or for 2007...or 2008...or 2010?
  14. Fenderman

    Fenderman Rooters Reporter

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    Heidfeld is an interesting case. He holds a number of intriguing records:

    Most points without a win 259
    Most podium finishes without a victory 13
    Most consecutive classified finishes 41 (2007 French Grand Prix2009 Italian Grand Prix)
    Most consecutive race finishes 33 (2007 Chinese Grand Prix2009 Italian Grand Prix)
    Most finishes in a season* 18 (from 18 races in 2008)
    * Record shared with Tiago Monteiro (18 from 19 in 2005) and Felipe Massa (18 from 19 in 2010)
    Courtesy of Wikipaedia

    He has never raced a season in a McLaren
    He has never raced a season in a Ferrari
    He has never raced a season in a Brawn
    He has never raced a season in a Red Bull

    My conclusion from all of this is that he is an underated talent who has been a victim of circumstance, including not being in the right place at the right time to take a win when those with the championship winning equipment have faltered.

    Could be wrong but so what. I like the man and think the big teams have missed a trick in not giving him the opportunity that I think he deserves.
    EvilWhippet and teabagyokel like this.
  15. Slyboogy

    Slyboogy World Champion Contributor

    Slow and steady doesn't always win I am afraid!

    On a serious note he may have been at the wrong place at the wrong time, but I feel when he had the car under him to win (2008) he failed, that will always be the chink in his armour...
  16. Il_leone

    Il_leone Champion Elect

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    there are some thinking within Renault squad he is not making full use out of the cars potential neither is Petrov though but he has not blown the Russian away being team leader

    Nick Heidfeld has rarely been seen as a No1 to any team...Jordan was difficult to asses because Pantano was having to bring £1m a race for his seat and did not get a fair shot and quit because it was straining his family to provide the money

    This year I think some people expected a bit more from Heidfeld so there may be a hint of frustration. He can only take heart that he is above both Mercedes drivers in the standings I think which would send a message out to them that he should not have been reserve driver

    He does not come across as a guy who you can look at and say I want him to lead my team and believe you have a world champion in the making...thats what I think Ron was thinking in his head

    2008 was certainly Heidfeld's best shot to win races but I don't think Mario / BMW helped by openly admitting they needed to give him more time with the car rather than focus on Kubica who had just won and was driving absolutely out of his skin
  17. This can't be a good sign for Heidfeld's future at Renault:

    First it was Senna getting Free Practice time...and now Grosjean's back in the mix...and all the time the team are waiting on word about/from Kubica.

    Brundle wrote about Petrov being a 'credible' F1 driver in his German report and Heidfeld's DNF into the gravel at home wouldn't have helped.

    It's all looking rather poor for Heidfeld with his career hanging in the balance based on other drivers' recovery (Kubica) or performances (Senna, Grosjean).

    He was supposed to wipe the floor with a Russian pay Number 2 but the Russian pay driver didn't bother reading the script.
  18. Slyboogy

    Slyboogy World Champion Contributor

    A bit harsh I say on Heidfeld.

    But Bouiller has said ever since Spain? That both drivers are underachieving, and with Heidfeld beating Kubica twice (it was close) and not comprehensively beating Petrov while Kubica thrashed him, doesn't help matters.
  19. Nick hasn't out-qualified Petrov in the last two races so the noose is tightening around his hairy neck!

    At least Petrov's bringing some funds into the squad...and he's 50 percent of the WCC prize money from FOM too.

    I bet you Boullier is eyeing someone beyond Senna and Grosjean if Kubica can't race next year.
  20. Slyboogy

    Slyboogy World Champion Contributor

    Like who?

    Only person I can think of is Sutil...

    They are low on funds already...
  21. That's one guy. What about Kobayashi? Perhaps Hulkenburg? Kovalainen?

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