No secret that Iâ€™ve always had a soft spot for Nick Heidfeld. Iâ€™ve been asked to justify that notion many times and I really canâ€™t. He is a guy I followed since his junior days and I was impressed with his F3000 performances. I have followed his career with interestâ€”not world title-winning interest but mere human interest. I like the guy and he is a solid driver. He shares many of the qualities that I like in Jenson Button. Both solid, smooth and mistake-free. They also have a good feel for the car and can make some impressive drives out of what would otherwise be adversity.
Heidfeld says heâ€™s talking to Renault but the French squad is looking for more than just skillâ€”money in particular. Current driver Vitaly Petrov has the money, allegedly, but does he have the skill? Thatâ€™s been the question leveled at him all year. Heidfeld has an opinion on that according to ITV:
â€œFor next year obviously there are many seats already gone. Iâ€™m still in talks with various teams â€“ also with Renault, as [team principal Eric] Boullier confirmed [in an interview].
â€œThat would be the best opportunity but itâ€™s far to say that itâ€™s obvious that itâ€™s not the only thing [that] they are looking for is talent, what you can give on the circuit.
â€œThey have Vitaly in the car, who has strong arguments but looking at his performance on track this year we know what those arguments are.â€
What do you think? Is replacing Petrov the right thing for Renault? The question is, can Nick be a significant enough improvement in performance to garner Renault a higher spot in the Constructorâ€™s Championship to off-set whatever Petrov is bringing? IS that even a real scenario? Keep in mind, they have Kubica, theyâ€™re not looking for a super star driver. Itâ€™s almost certain that Nick would be driving for peanuts at this point so what does Renault have to lose?
Iâ€™ve also argued that Nick would be a good addition at Team Joest Audi for Le Mans but heâ€™s not ready to look there yet:
â€œI would only look for F1 at the moment,â€ he said.
â€œIâ€™m 33 years [old] now. I think those other series could become interesting at a point, but not yet.â€
If he doesnâ€™t have a ride next year, I bet those series will be a lot more attractive.