Heidfeld must improve.

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Rather disappointing this.I was one of those who thought Heidfeld was the ideal choice.But he has not performed well and is now under pressure.
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/91912 Renault team boss Eric Boullier says Nick Heidfeld needs to raise his game following a series of disappointing races this season.
Although the German started the season strongly with a podium in the second race of the year, he has struggled to match the pace of team-mate Vitaly Petrov in qualifying, something that has hindered his chances of better results on Sunday.
Boullier reckons Heidfeld's season has not been "good enough" and believes the German has to improve to be able to match Petrov's pace right from the start of the GP weekends.
"I don't know," Boullier told AUTOSPORT when asked what Heidfeld needed to do. "I need to sit down with him and understand his concerns and to have a fair understanding of the situation.
"It needs to be from practice one to be at least on Vitaly's pace and it looks like there is always a delay, and qualifying if you are not ready car wise, balance wise and confidence wise then you cannot deliver on one single lap."
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Oh dear - didn't expect that from Eric just yet.

I think its difficult to tell whether its Petrov thats masisvely improved this season or Heidfeld who's off form. What I will say is that although Nick is off the pace in quali he doesn't usually finish to far away from Petrov in the race if not in front of him.

I think this is more about Renaults driver selection problem for next season. You have to remember that Romain Grosjean (or Chicken Goujion as I like to call him) is a driver they've invested a lot of time and money in - on top of which he is French and they are a French team and there has not been a decent French driver in F1 for sometime. I think the original plan was to give Petrov another year - wait until Grosjean had got a bit more experience and possibley won GP2 and bring him in for 2012 alongside Kubica.

However Kubica's accident has sent that all skewif. They brought in Heidfeld for a year thinking he'd wipe the floor with Petrov and if Kubica did not recover then they could have another year our of Nick with him alongside Grosjean - but thats gone all skewif by the fact that Petrov has suddenly hit form. Add on to the fact their test driver Bruno Senna has decided to go the Chandock route and campaign for a seat in F1 via the media this statement to me sounds like Boullier has already decided that Nick is suplus to requirments and already constructing an easy exit strategy for poor old Nick.
 

The Enforcer

Wheel-to-wheel Maestro
Contributor
I think 'average pace' Nick is simply a journeyman who has had his day. I too felt he was a great choice, especially given the mileage he had completed testing the Pirellis last year and the often impressive form he had shown in previous seasons.

I just get the impression he's lost some edge and desire and I would like to see him step aside for the second half of the season and give Bruno Senna a second opportunity to prove himself with a more competitive package.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I think it is too early for Boullier to come up with these statements, I don't think the facts back up the idea of either Heidfeld or Petrov dominating the inter-team dynamic. Indeed, Heidfeld is ahead in the Drivers' Championship.

I have noticed when compiling the Qualifying World Championship that Heidfeld tends to do better in races than he does in qualifying, in stark contrast to Jarno Trulli, for example.

It depends on what Boullier wants from his team of course, but I don't believe any of his options will do a better job than Heidfeld has.

I warn you, a tornado is coming for this thread. And it calls itself Evil Whippet!
 
Petrov, truth be told, started to show form last year...at Abu Dhabi where he out-qualified Kubica and then finished just behind Kubica and ahead of Alonso in the race.

Remember?

Petrov's obviously improved in his 2nd year (as most drivers do over their rookie year) but Heidfeld hasn't shown the way in qualifying. Boullier didn't need to say so for me to see that.

It's as plain as day!

Renault were expecting a lot from the car, and unfortunately for Heidfeld, Kubica was very consistent and fast and was placed in the Top 4 by most pundits.

In a perfect world, Raikkonen would have replaced Kubica in the Renault but Kimi didn't want it.

Heidfeld isn't as quick as Petrov and that's that.

Renault miss Kubica badly.

One thing...Heidfeld is one of the shortest drives in F1 while Kubica/Petrov was THE tallest pairing in the business. Perhaps that has something to do with how to go about getting optimal performance out of that Renault which was geared around a tall driver's liking (mainly Kubica's).

It may be marginal...but we're talking about margins, anyway!

I'd too would like to see Senna in the car, frankly.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Heidfeld isn't as quick as Petrov and that's that.

World Championship 2011

 1. S Vettel 143
2. L Hamilton 85
3. M Webber 79
4. J Button 76
5. F Alonso 69
[B] 6. N Heidfeld 29[/B]
7. N Rosberg 26
8. F Massa 24
[B] 9. V Petrov 21[/B]
10. K Kobayashi 19
11. M Schumacher 14
12. A Sutil 8
13. S Buemi 7
14. R Barrichello 2
=. S Perez 2
=. P di Resta 2

Not too bad, I don't think!
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
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Another thing to consider is if the Renault is actually as fast as we thought it was at the start of the season? It looked very promising with the new exhaust system but so did Ferrari with their testing times.

Would Kubica be capable of getting more out of the car, possibly but to write off Heidfeld when he is 6th in the championship is crazy.
As for Senna taking over the seat, Petrov has the firm spot due to the sponsorship deals. If Heidfeld really wasn't upto scratch he would have been replaced by now. I don't even think Senna has had a Friday drive yet so I don't think he will be racing any time soon.
 
World Championship 2011

Not too bad, I don't think!

Actually, with all due respect, TBY, the WDC doesn't always tell the whole picture.
Sutil has more points than Di Resta...but everyone thinks Di Resta is faster.

WDC points don't tell the story of who is the faster driver.

Last year at this stage Button was ahead of Hamilton in the WDC, but did you really think Button was the faster driver?

Last year Massa led the WDC after 3 rounds...So did that mean Alonso was slower?

I don't think so.

Petrov has been faster than Heidfeld in qualifying and that's important.

Look at Lotus. Neither Kovalainen or Trulli have points.

But guess what? Kovalainen is faster than Trulli...it's 6-0 in Qually...and the team managers notice that!

Williams: Rubens has 2 points but Maldonado's done a better job and was way faster in Monaco but got no points.

See?

I think Petrov is faster than Heidfeld.

Apparently so does Boullier.

Cheers, TBY sir! :)
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I believe that they are competing for the Championship, which is decided on points.

And while being slower than his team-mate, Heidfeld is the best of the rest outside the Big 5. That is not just better than Petrov. That is better than Massa!

Petrov has been faster than Heidfeld in qualifying and that's important.

Points are handed out on Sunday. This is motor racing!
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Would Kubica be capable of getting more out of the car.

That my friend is the 64 million dollar question! One that we'll never know the answer too I'm afraid.

As I said before I don't think this is about speed or performance I think this is about Renault having too many drivers in the wings. Heidfeld always gets the rough end of the stick doesn't he?

Concerning Senna - If Kubica doesn't come back this season I wouldn't be suprised to see him get a drive in the last couple of races in place of Heidfeld so he can put himself in the shop window for the season after. Same with Chandock coming in for Trulli at Lotus - but sorry I'm going off topic.
 
I believe that they are competing for the Championship, which is decided on points.

And while being slower than his team-mate, Heidfeld is the best of the rest outside the Big 5. That is not just better than Petrov. That is better than Massa!

Points are handed out on Sunday. This is motor racing!

Yes. Massa has done poorly. For sure!

It's true that points are handed out on sunday...but Boullier thinks Heidfeld should have scored MORE!

Petrov should have scored more...but some of it was out of his control (Monaco, for instance.)

As I said, Kovalainen and Trulli have no points, but every team manager is counting their Qually scores.

Maldonado has no points, but i'm sure everyone noted his qually and race performance in Monaco and would say he did a better job than Barrichello who scored 2 points.

Sometimes we have to look beyond merely the points table.

Cheers, mate! :)
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
So?WDC points don't tell the story of who is the faster driver.?
no they don't but they show you who the best driver is. Fastest laps and quali just prove that you can be fast for one lap - race points show you can keep it up for the entire race which is the real test of a driver and after all what matters. But then we've had this discussion regarding Kimi not being in my top F1 drivers just because he's got a lot of fastest laps against his name.

But lets talk about Heidfeld shall we?
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I agree with tby, I think Boullier's comments are premature. Particularly considering that several of the problems Heidfeld has had in practice and qualifying have been due to the unreliability of the car. Indeed a machine that has tried to set him on fire!

I'm far from convinced that Petrov is conclusively the faster driver in qualifying; and in any case that is less important now than it has been for many, many years. Nick's strength has always been his racecraft, and we have a direct comparison available between him and Kubica from his BMW days. Obviously things have to improve, but they have to be given a chance to improve.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Agreed Brogan - but has Petrov upped his game or is Heidfeld not on it?

I think Petrov has the better of Nick too but Nick is doing what he has always done - finish consistantly in the points without lighting fires(well....apart from one). Renault knew this when they got him - seems really strange to publicly criticise him this early on.
 

The Enforcer

Wheel-to-wheel Maestro
Contributor
Fastest laps and quali just prove that you can be fast for one lap - race points show you can keep it up for the entire race which is the real test of a driver and after all what matters.

I think we need to look at the bigger picture here. Yes it's ultimately about the points on Sunday, but if you struggle to put in a strong quali lap, you compromise your race and potential points haul. It's been argued that the Red Bull doesn't have the same pace in race conditions as in quali. Vettel has driven fantastically well during the races, but by putting himself at the front, he's minimised 1st lap risk, given himself clean air to attack and made the job on Sunday easier than Webber who has struggled on a Saturday.

The same can be said of fast laps during the race. If you are unable to bang in those quick laps when it really matters, you can again miss out on overtaking during the pit window, harassing the man in front to make mistakes etc etc.

Back to Heidfeld, in my opinion his experience, race craft and the car at his disposal have resulted in some reasonable results, but had he qualified higher up, these results could well have been stronger.
 
I imagine that Boullier has all the data traces of every session, etc.

I'm sure the people at Renault, like James Allison for instance, are much smarter than people like us when it comes to evaluating performance.

There's little doubt that Kubica would have out-qualified Petrov this year in the majority of instances.

Perhaps Renault were expecting too much. In Heidfeld they had a Journeyman. In Kubica they had a Top 4 who had caught the eye of Ferrari back in 2008/9 and who Hamilton and Alonso were rating like no other!

If Hamilton and Alonso are rating you, then you must have something!

I think it's all about 'expectation' and Heidfeld's picking up points but he's not putting up stellar performances...and the higher up you qualify, the greater the chances of picking up better points.

Too often, Heidfeld's qualified the car poorly out of positon. Australia, China and Monaco, for instance.

Petrov, meanwhile, has made Q3 every race.


That's not good.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Back to Heidfeld, in my opinion his experience, race craft and the car at his disposal have resulted in some reasonable results, but had he qualified higher up, these results could well have been stronger.

very true - but then couldn't I argue that Mr Bouiller shoudl be making statements about how Petrov is not doing a good enough job as he's failed to convert his grid positions into results? Swings and roundabouts my friend swings and roundabouts.

look out! here comes Evil Whippet - you're in for it now!
 

The Enforcer

Wheel-to-wheel Maestro
Contributor
It's a good point Rasputin, I'm as surprised as everyone else that Bouiller made this public so early on, just playing devils advocate my friend;)
 
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