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Nick Heidfeld

Formula 1 driver

Nick Heidfeld
Credit: LAT
Vital statistics for Nick Heidfeld
NationalityDEU
BirthplaceMönchengladbach, West Germany
Born10 May 1977
Age42
F1 debutAustralian Grand Prix, 2000

Nick Heidfeld was an unfortunate holder of the records for most championship points scored in Formula One without managing to get a race victory. He finished on the podium a few times during his twelve years in the sport but could never get to the top step of the podium. Driving most of his career for the Sauber team, Heidfeld left the sport halfway through the 2011 season after a stint with Lotus.

F1 biography

Heidfeld drove for several karting and single seater series' in his native Germany, winning the Formula Ford Championship in 1995 and the German F3 Championship as well. He was picked up by McLaren for an F1 test driver role in 1998, but made his F1 debut with the Prost team two years later.

It wasn't a particularly strong start to his career, and after a season littered with retirements and crashes Heidfeld moved to the Sauber team for three years. At the end of the 2003 season, Heidfeld's seat with the team went to Giancarlo Fisichella and left the German driver without a drive. He participated in pre-season testing for Jordan and signed with them for the 2004 season.

The following season saw Nick on the move again, and he arrived at Williams after another strong winter testing performance. He picked up three trophies during the first half of the season, but the second half didn't go the distance. Heidfeld was injured in a cycling accident, missing the final five races of the year.

His connection with BMW through their engine supply of the Williams team helped him transition to Sauber, when the German manufacturer bought Sauber outright. More podiums followed, and Heidfeld remained with the team for four solid years. For the 2010 season, Sauber went for a different driver lineup, and Nick moved to Mercedes to become their test and reserve driver. When Pedro de la Rosa left Sauber before the end of the season, however, Heidfeld moved back to finish off the year with his old team.

Heidfeld moved to Renault for 2011, after winning a shootout for the seat left open by the injured Robert Kubica. He drove the first half of the season, but was replaced by Bruno Senna for the Belgian Grand Prix and didn't return to the car. He left the team before the season ended, and turned his attention to endurance racing instead.

Heidfeld also joined the inaugural season of the Formula E championship at the end of 2014, and combines his electric championship with his endurance seasons as well.