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Nick Heidfeld
2009-01-20 - Nick Heidfeld 44774
Born 10 May 1977 (age 35)
Mönchengladbach, West Germany
Nationality German
Formula One World Championship Career
Status Retired
Races 185

( 183 starts)

Pole positions 1
Wins

0

Championships 0
Podiums

13

Fastest laps

2

Career Points

259

First Race 2000 Australian Grand Prix
Last Race 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix

Nick Lars Heidfeld (born May 10, 1977 in Mönchengladbach, West Germany) is a German racing driver.

Despite scoring regular podium finishes in 2007 and 2008, Heidfeld has yet to win a race since entering Formula One in 2000. This means that amongst the current drivers, he has had the most GP starts without standing at the top spot on the podium. Heidfeld has now started over 170 races, so if he were to eventually win a race he would break the record for most starts before a maiden victory. This is currently held by Mark Webber, who claimed his first victory on his 131st attempt. Heidfeld also currently holds three other records; he is the driver who has scored the highest number of world championship points without a Grand Prix win, holds the record for the most podium finishes without a Grand Prix win (13), and has the most second place finishes without a win, with 8. He also holds the record for the most consecutive race classifications with a tally of 41, and shares the record for most finishes in a season with Tiago Monteiro and Felipe Massa after finishing all 18 races in the 2008 season.

In 2011, Heidfeld was racing in Formula One for the Renault team as a replacement for the injured Robert Kubica, before being replaced by Bruno Senna.

BiographyEdit

Pre-Formula OneEdit

Heidfeld was born in Mönchengladbach, West Germany, on May 10, 1977, and began racing karts at the age of 11 in 1988. In 1994 he moved into the German Formula Ford series, gaining widespread attention by winning 8 of the 9 races to take the title that season. In 1995 he won the German International Formula Ford 1800 Championship, and came second in the Zetec Cup. This led to a drive in the German Formula Three Championship championship for 1996, where he finished third overall, after taking 3 wins. He entered the end of the season Macau Grand Prix and won the first heat of the race, attracting the attention of compatriot Norbert Haug, who later signed him up for the West Competition team.

Lola F3000

Nick Heidfeld's 1999 Lola F3000 (B99/50)

The following year Heidfeld won the German F3 Championship for Bertram Schäfer Racing, with support from McLaren/West, including a win at the Monaco Grand Prix Formula Three support race. In 1998, he won three races and was runner-up in the International Formula 3000 championship, with the West Competition team. At the final race of the season he was demoted to the back of the grid from pole position, after his team used non-compliant fuel. He finished the race ninth and out of the points, losing the championship by seven points to Juan Pablo Montoya. During that season, he was also the official test driver for the McLaren-Mercedes Formula One team. In 1999, he won the International Formula 3000 Championship. That year he also took the official track record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed which still stands today. He was also a member of the Mercedes squad that raced at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans. But the team withdrew after the Mercedes-Benz CLR back-flipped on the Mulsanne straight while Mark Webber and Peter Dumbreck were driving.

Formula OneEdit

ProstEdit

2000

Heidfeld was signed as a race driver for the Prost Grand Prix F1 team for the 2000 season, alongside Formula One veteran Jean Alesi. Heidfeld struggled with his new car and suffered a string of retirements, as well as colliding with his team mate on more than one occasion.

SauberEdit

2001 - 2003

2002 Brazil Heidfeld Sauber

Heidfeld at the 2002 Brazilian Grand Prix

He departed Prost at the end of that season, before signing a three-year contract with Sauber for 2001. He was partnered with then rookie driver Kimi Räikkönen. After the announcement of Mika Häkkinen's retirement, many thought that Heidfeld would replace him in the McLaren team, as he had outperformed Räikkönen over the year, including a podium position in the Brazilian Grand Prix. However, the McLaren seat went to Räikkönen, and Heidfeld stayed with Sauber for 2002 and 2003, where he raked up a small number of points finishes. In 2002 he outperformed another rookie team mate, Felipe Massa, but was then beaten by his more experienced fellow countryman, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, in 2003.

JordanEdit

2004

At the end of the 2003 season, Heidfeld was replaced at the Sauber team by Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella and looked to be without a race seat for the 2004 season. However, after a number of moderately successful tests, it was announced that Heidfeld would race with the Jordan team, alongside rookie Giorgio Pantano. Heidfeld had a poor season because of the slow and unreliable EJ14. He finished seventh at the Monaco Grand Prix and eighth at the Canadian Grand Prix (where he was beaten by team mate Timo Glock on his F1 debut) and finished the season with three points.

WilliamsEdit

2005

During the winter of 2004–2005, Heidfeld tested with the Williams team, in a 'shootout' against Antônio Pizzonia for the second race seat alongside Mark Webber. At the Williams launch on January 31, 2005, it was announced that Heidfeld would be the race driver
Nick Heidfeld 2005 San Marino

Heidfeld pits during the 2005 San Marino GP

for the team in 2005.

At the seventh race of the 2005 season at the Nürburgring circuit, his home Grand Prix, Heidfeld took his first ever pole position. He also achieved his best race position to-date in Monaco where he finished second, which he equalled at the Nürburgring.

Heidfeld missed the Italian and Belgian Grands Prix due to injuries suffered in a testing accident. Scheduled to come back for Brazil, he was injured again when hit by a motorbike when out cycling, and therefore forced to sit out the rest of the season.

SauberEdit

2006

Heidfeld gained a contract with his then Williams' engine supplier, BMW, when they bought the Sauber team (BMW and Sauber merger) and entered Formula One as BMW Sauber for the 2006 season.

Nick Heidfeld (BMW) GP de Monaco 2006 (IMG 6131)

Heidfeld at the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix

During 2006 Heidfeld scored points several times for his new team. At Melbourne he ran as high as second until the safety car came out. He eventually finished fourth. At Indianapolis, he was eliminated in a spectacular first lap accident which saw fellow drivers Scott Speed, Jenson Button, Kimi Räikkönen and Juan Pablo Montoya also go out. Heidfeld's car was launched into a quadruple barrel roll, but he and the other drivers all walked away unharmed. The Hungarian Grand Prix saw Heidfeld give BMW Sauber their first podium finish and best result of the year, when he finished third, even though he had only qualified tenth on the grid.

At the end of 2006, Heidfeld was quoted attacking the media's saturation coverage of his teammate Robert Kubica, who had scored fewer points than him. This has happened two other times in the German's career; in 2001 when he was teammates with Kimi Räikkönen (whom he beat twelve points to nine) and in 2002, when he was teammates with Felipe Massa (whom he beat by seven points to four). Räikkönen and Massa later formed the 2007 Ferrari driver line-up.

2007

Heidfeld started the 2007 season strongly. In Bahrain, he chased down and overtook reigning world champion Fernando Alonso around the outside,
Nick Heidfeld 2007 Canada

Heidfeld at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix

finishing half a minute ahead of his BMW teammate Kubica. He scored three fourth places in the opening three races, a sixth in Monaco, and a second place at the Canadian Grand Prix, where he also out-qualified both Ferraris, equalling his best ever Grand Prix finish. After retiring from fifth place at Indianapolis, he was outscored by team-mate Kubica at both Magny-Cours and Silverstone. At an eventful European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Heidfeld's home circuit, where he collided with Kubica on the opening lap, he recovered and overtook Kubica on the final lap to finish sixth, despite making six pitstops during the race. Heidfeld returned to form in Hungary, qualifying second and finishing third to score his and BMW's second podium of the season. He finished fourth at the Turkish and Italian Grand Prix, and fifth in the Belgian Grand Prix. He eventually finished a career-best fifth in the championship with 61 points, outpointing Kubica by 22.

On 28 April 2007, Heidfeld drove three demonstration laps around the Nürburgring's legendary 14 mile Nordschleife track, which made him the first driver in 31 years to pilot a current F1 car there. About 45,000 spectators attended the event, which was held after a four hour VLN endurance race.

2008

After several months of negotiations, BMW confirmed that Heidfeld would stay with the team for 2008.

2008AusGPPodium

2008 Australian Grand Prix Podium with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nick Heidfeld

Heidfeld began the 2008 season strongly, finishing second in Australia after qualifying fifth. In Malaysia, he qualified fifth but dropped down to tenth at the first corner after being pushed wide by Jarno Trulli. He got back up to sixth, also setting his first ever fastest lap in the process. In Bahrain he started from sixth place but he did not gain a place at the start, but passed Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen to climb up to fourth. He finished there and this fourth gave him second in the championship. After a few disappointing qualifying sessions and races in the following weeks (after which the German press started to call him "Leidfeld", with "Leid" meaning "misery" in German), Kubica and Heidfeld made BMW Sauber history by securing the third-year team's first victory, and first one-two finish respectively in Canada. Heidfeld was positioned eighth on the grid and after losing a place at the start, before gaining it back, was sitting comfortably in eighth place once again before a safety car situation saw the top 7 cars enter the pits in what was to soon become a bizarre series of errors that left Heidfeld and Kubica battling for the top two places. Heidfeld was switched to a one stop fuel strategy and came out of his stop ahead of Kubica, but considerably heavier on fuel. Not long afterwards, Heidfeld moved off the racing line allowing Kubica to make an easy pass, which then allowed the lighter BMW Sauber to build up a considerable lead on Heidfeld, who was occupied with preventing Fernando Alonso, also in a lighter car, from chasing Kubica. The gap built by Kubica allowed him to rejoin the race comfortably in the lead after his final pitstop with no threats behind him. Heidfeld
Alonso + Heidfeld 2008 Britain

Heidfeld overtakes Fernando Alonso at the 2008 British Grand Prix

finished the race second, solidifying his fifth place position in the driver's points. Heidfeld had a disappointing race in France, failing to score any points. He came back strongly at the British Grand Prix, starting fifth and finishing second in the wet conditions. Another strong performance, where he set the fastest lap of the race for the second time this season, was his home grand prix at the Hockenheimring showed that, for the time being, he had reversed the performance deficit to his team mate. Another second place finish at the Belgian Grand Prix, followed by 5th and 6th place finishes in Italy and Singapore respectively put him just one point behind current World Champion Kimi Räikkönen with just three races remaining.

It was confirmed on October 6 that both Heidfeld and team-mate Kubica would remain at the BMW Sauber team for the 2009 season.

In the last three races Heidfeld scored four points, ending in sixth place in the standings after being passed by Fernando Alonso at the last round of the season. However, Heidfeld became only the second driver to finish 18 races in a single season, after Tiago Monteiro completed the same feat with Jordan in 2005. Heidfeld also became the first driver to finish every single race in a season since Michael Schumacher in 2002.

2009

Heidfeld 2009 Malaysian GP 1

Heidfeld at the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix

Heidfeld began 2009 in Australia by qualifying in 11th place and finishing 10th in the race. At the Malaysian Grand Prix, Heidfeld again qualified in 11th, but started 10th as Sebastian Vettel was issued a 10 place drop (for an incident caused in Australia with Heidfeld's team-mate Kubica). The race was stopped due to torrential rain on the 33rd lap, when Heidfeld was third, but as set out in the regulations, the result was taken at the end of the penultimate completed lap, when Heidfeld had been running second. Because less than 75% of the race distance had been covered, the drivers only received half points. He scored a further 2 points at the Spanish Grand Prix, and finished 5th at Spa to score another 4 points. A seventh place finish at Monza added a further 2 points to his 2009 tally. Nevertheless, four points-scoring finishes in the final six races secured him thirteenth position in the Drivers' Championship, two points ahead of Kubica.

In Singapore, Heidfeld's run of 41 consecutive classified finishes was brought to an end due to a collision with Force India's Adrian Sutil.

Mercedes and Pirelli test driverEdit

2010

Following BMW's decision to withdraw from the sport at the end of the 2009 season, Heidfeld's future in Formula One was uncertain. It was mentioned that he was considered to drive for Mercedes GP alongside fellow German Nico Rosberg but the team signed fellow German Michael Schumacher instead. Heidfeld was then tipped for a seat at Sauber alongside Kamui Kobayashi but they decided to go with Pedro de la Rosa. Heidfeld was then in the running for a Renault F1 seat alongside fellow BMW Sauber refugee Robert Kubica, but on February 4, Heidfeld was confirmed as the test and reserve driver for Mercedes.

C 3 Media 1117978 immagine fullw

Heidfeld in the Pirelli TF109

At the Australian Grand Prix, Heidfeld was chosen to succeed Pedro de la Rosa as Chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association. He left the position upon taking the role of Pirelli's test driver ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, and was replaced by Rubens Barrichello.

In August 2010, with Heidfeld not yet having driven the Mercedes MGP W01 car, the team released him from his contract so that he could become the Pirelli tyre company's test driver. Heidfeld tested a Toyota TF109 car fitted with Pirelli tyres on a number of occasions in 2010, ahead of the firm's replacement of Bridgestone as the sport's sole tyre supplier in 2011. Heidfeld completed three tests for Pirelli in Mugello, Paul Ricard and Jerez before being released from his duties to join Sauber, with his place being taken by Romain Grosjean.

SauberEdit

2010

In September 2010, Heidfeld returned to the Formula One grid, replacing Pedro de la Rosa at the Sauber team for the remainder of the 2010 season. This marked his third spell with them. On October 4, 2010, Sauber confirmed their driver line-up for 2011 as Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez, seemingly leaving Heidfeld without a drive for 2011.

Lotus Renault GPEdit

2011

On 9 February, Lotus Renault GP confirmed that Heidfeld would be sharing testing duties with Bruno Senna on the Saturday and Sunday of the four-day test at Jerez, to evaluate the drivers in preparation of replacing the injured Robert Kubica, who had suffered a crash whilst rallying in Italy, for the 2011 season. On the Saturday, Heidfeld set the quickest time of the day, stating that he enjoyed his day's running – 86 laps – with the team, and had fun driving the car. Heidfeld was confirmed as Kubica's replacement on 16 February 2011. In Australia, the first race of the season following the
Nick Heidfeld 2011 Malaysia Qualify

Heidfeld at the Malaysian GP

cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Heidfeld qualified 18th and ended 12th. On 10 April 2011, Heidfeld finished third, after starting sixth, in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, breaking Stefan Johansson's record of 12 podiums without a win. He added another 12th place in China, before a seventh place finish in Turkey after a close battle with team-mate Petrov. Two eighth places in Spain and Monaco were followed by a retirement at the Canadian Grand Prix, after running into the back of Kamui Kobayashi and causing damage to his front wing, which broke under acceleration and collapsed under the car. He was forced to retire after his car caught fire after exiting the pit lane on lap 25 in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Heidfeld was replaced by Bruno Senna ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix. Heidfeld officially parted company with the team on 2 September 2011.

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Pts.
2000 Gauloises Prost Peugeot Prost AP03 Peugeot A20 3.0 V10 AUS
9
BRA
Ret
SMR
Ret
GBR
Ret
ESP
16
EUR
EX
MON
8
CAN
Ret
FRA
12
AUT
Ret
GER
12
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA
9
JPN
Ret
MAL
Ret
20th 0
2001 Sauber Petronas Sauber C20 Petronas 01A 3.0 V10 AUS
4
MAL
Ret
BRA
3
SMR
7
ESP
6
AUT
9
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
EUR
Ret
FRA
6
GBR
6
GER
Ret
HUN
6
BEL
Ret
ITA
11
USA
6
JPN
9
8th 12
2002 Sauber Petronas Sauber C21 Petronas 02A 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
5
BRA
Ret
SMR
10
ESP
4
AUT
Ret
MON
8
CAN
12
EUR
7
GBR
6
FRA
7
GER
6
HUN
9
BEL
10
ITA
10
USA
9
JPN
7
10th 7
2003 Sauber Petronas Sauber C22 Petronas 03A 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
8
BRA
Ret
SMR
10
ESP
10
AUT
Ret
MON
11
CAN
Ret
EUR
8
FRA
13
GBR
17
GER
10
HUN
9
ITA
9
USA
5
JPN
9
14th 6
2004 Benson & Hedges Jordan Ford Jordan EJ14 Ford RS2 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
Ret
BHR
15
SMR
Ret
ESP
Ret
MON
7
EUR
10
CAN
8
USA
Ret
FRA
16
GBR
15
GER
Ret
HUN
12
BEL
11
ITA
14
CHN
13
JPN
13
BRA
Ret
18th 3
2005 BMW Williams F1 Team Williams FW27 BMW P84/5 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
3
BHR
Ret
SMR
6
ESP
10
MON
2
EUR
2
CAN
Ret
USA
DNS
FRA
14
GBR
12
GER
11
HUN
6
TUR
Ret
ITA
PO
BEL
BRA
JPN
CHN
11th 28
2006 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW P86 2.4 V8 BHR
12
MAL
Ret
AUS
4
SMR
13
EUR
10
ESP
8
MON
7
GBR
7
CAN
7
USA
Ret
FRA
8
GER
Ret
HUN
3
TUR
14
ITA
8
CHN
7
JPN
8
BRA
17
9th 23
2007 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.07 BMW P86/7 2.4 V8 AUS
4
MAL
4
BHR
4
ESP
Ret
MON
6
CAN
2
USA
Ret
FRA
5
GBR
6
EUR
6
HUN
3
TUR
4
ITA
4
BEL
5
JPN
14
CHN
7
BRA
6
5th 61
2008 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW P86/8 2.4 V8 AUS
2
MAL
6
BHR
4
ESP
9
TUR
5
MON
14
CAN
2
FRA
13
GBR
2
GER
4
HUN
10
EUR
9
BEL
2
ITA
5
SIN
6
JPN
9
CHN
5
BRA
10
6th 60
2009 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.09 BMW P86/9 2.4 V8 AUS
10
MAL
2
CHN
12
BHR
19
ESP
7
MON
11
TUR
11
GBR
15
GER
10
HUN
11
EUR
11
BEL
5
ITA
7
SIN
Ret
JPN
6
BRA
Ret
ABU
5
13th 19
2010 BMW Sauber F1 Team Sauber C29 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 BHR
AUS
MAL
CHN
ESP
MON
TUR
CAN
EUR
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
SIN
Ret
JPN
8
KOR
9
BRA
17
ABU
11
18th 6
2011 Lotus Renault GP Renault R31 Renault RS27 2.4 V8 AUS
12
MAL
3
CHN
12
TUR
7
ESP
8
MON
8
CAN
Ret
EUR
10
GBR
8
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
ITA
SIN
JPN
KOR
IND
ABU
BRA
11th 34

‡ Half points awarded as less than 75% of race distance was completed.

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