• Jerez Test Day Three

Renault pleased with Heidfeld's first test

ESPNF1 Staff
February 12, 2011 « Vettel still getting his head around wing and KERS | »
Nick Heidfeld was evaluated by Renault on Saturday © Sutton Images

Both Nick Heidfeld and Renault came away from their first test session together feeling very positive, as they set the fastest time in Jerez on Saturday and completed 86 laps.

Heidfeld is hoping to secure the race seat left vacant by Robert Kubica, who suffered serious injuries to his right arm when he crashed during a rally last weekend. Renault evaluated Heidfeld on Saturday as a replacement and team boss Eric Boullier came away sounding very positive about the German driver.

"Today we had the chance to give Nick time in the car and we carried out a big evaluation," he said. "Our first feelings are very positive: he worked well with the team, gave good feedback and improved the car during the day. We managed to cover 86 laps and the times are encouraging, which is also thanks to Robert and Vitaly's early feedback and the hard work of everybody in the team."

Heidfeld was also upbeat about the session but warned against reading too much into the headline time.

"I really enjoyed the day," he said. "It was fun driving the car, although it obviously takes time to get used to things when it's your first time in a car and working with a new team. We had a good day, without too many problems, and luckily all the changes we made to the car went in the right direction and improved things, so I was able to push harder and harder. In terms of the lap times, it's very difficult for me to compare with the other teams because we don't know the fuel levels or what the others were doing. My first impressions of the car were positive, although there are always areas where you can improve."

Bruno Senna is expected to get a trial in the R31 on Sunday, but Boullier has already said he wants a driver with experience behind the wheel at races.


Driver Car Time Laps
1. Nick Heidfeld Renault R31 1:20.361 86
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 150th Italia 1:20.493 131
3. Michael Schumacher Mercedes W02 1:21.054 114
4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren MP4-26 1:21.099 36
5. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber C30 1:21.242 84
6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull RB7 1:21.574 98
7. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso STR6 1:21.681 92
8. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus T128 1:21.711 61
9. Rubens Barrichello Williams FW33 1:22.227 99
10. Paul di Resta Force India VJM-04 1:22.945 64
10. Jerome d'Ambrosio Virgin MVR-02 1:25.471 72