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Renault announce Nick Heidfeld as Kubica replacement // The team are forced to move on after the Pole's rallying accident

Published by Christine

With Robert Kubica recuperating from his injuries sustained in Italy, Renault have confirmed that Nick Heidfeld will stand in for the Pole, starting at the Barcelona test this week. Heidfeld participated in one day of testing at Jerez last week, alongside Bruno Senna, as the pair attempted to catch the eye of the bosses, and Éric Boullier is happy to announce Heidfeld as the lucky driver.

Nick Heidfeld tests for Renault in Jerez
Nick Heidfeld tests for Renault in JerezCredit: Andrew Ferrari/LAT Photographic

The team has been through a very difficult couple of weeks and we 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.

- Éric Boullier

Heidfeld will share testing duties with Vitaly Petrov, and will sit in for Kubica when the season gets underway in Bahrain. The German driver has plenty of experience to bring to the team, plus he has spent time as Kubica's teammate so will perhaps have an extra insight into working with Robert's mechanics.

I would have liked to come back to Formula 1 in different circumstances, but I’m proud to have been given this chance. Everything has happened so quickly, but I’ve been very impressed by what I have seen so far in terms of the facilities and the dedication of the people at Enstone.

- Nick Heidfeld

Heidfeld drove in five Grands Prix last year, replacing Pedro de la Rosa in the Sauber. He has been linked with the BMW Sauber team for many years, but was left without a drive for 2011, until this unexpected change in circumstances.

Renault have secured themselves a mixed lineup of experience and youth, which has been successful in the past. When the season begins, we will find out if these unsettled months have affected them in any way.