Motorsport

Heidfeld to replace Kubica at Lotus Renault

German driver Nick Heidfeld will replace the injured Robert Kubica at Formula One team Lotus Renault.

The 33-year-old, whose contract was not renewed by BMW Sauber at the end of last season, was widely expected to take the place of Kubica, who was seriously injured in a rally accident on February 6 and could well be out for the entire season.

In a statement the team said that Heidfeld, who will partner Russian Vitaly Petrov, is one of the most experienced drivers in Formula 1, with 172 races under his belt.

Team principal Eric Boullier said the team had been through difficult weeks and had to react quickly.

“We gave Nick a chance in Jerez last week and he really impressed us. He’s quick, experienced and is very strong technically with his feedback and understanding of the car. We always said the priority was to have an experienced driver in the car and we feel he is the ideal man for the job.

“We are pleased to welcome Nick to the team and look forward to a strong start to the season with him and Vitaly in Bahrain.”

Heidfeld, who partnered Kubica at BMW Sauber, said that he would have preferred to come back to racing under different circumstances. “But I am proud to have been given this chance. Everything has happened so quickly, but I have 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 have already settled in well with the guys at the track. I have a good feeling for the car, which is quite innovative. I am extremely motivated and can’t wait for the season to begin.”


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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 9:17:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/motorsport/Heidfeld-to-replace-Kubica-at-Lotus-Renault/article15448116.ece

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