Home > 2010 Season, Formula One > Why Renault should sign Nick Heidfeld

Why Renault should sign Nick Heidfeld

According to Eric Boullier, the new team principal at Renault, the team may not sign their second driver in time for the first test session of 2010. This worries me because, as I understand it, they have four drivers in their sights at the moment and three of them are rookies who have never raced in F1 in any form. These rookies are Vitaly Petrov, Ho-Pin Tung, and Jerome D’Ambrosio. I do not want any of these three driving the Renault if the decision for a second driver comes late.

My main reason for protesting against any of the three previously mentioned drivers signing for Renault is quite simple. If they will not be signed in time for testing, then why even sign a rookie? We saw last year how much a rookie can struggle without proper testing. Does Jaime Alguersuari ring any bells? Luca Badoer did no better, and he wasn’t even a rookie, but merely an old dog who couldn’t learn the new tricks of F1 due to the restrictions on testing.

So, in my opinion, the fact that Renault is waiting to long to sign their second driver is very ominous looking. According to Boullier, they are waiting to get their sponsors sorted out and also want to restore morale to the team. Great ideas, but what if they simply take… Too long? They cannot go much longer without signing a second driver, but I’m sure that they know this.

The fourth driver in Renault’s sights is Nick Heidfeld, the BMW Sauber teammate of Renault’s current driver Robert Kubica. Nick is a much better option to take than any of the rookies I had mentioned. While some of the rookies such as Petrov may bring in sponsorship money, Heidfeld brings what neither Petrov nor the other two rookies can bring to the team, and that is proven race experience. Nick Heidfeld is certainly no slouch, and it’s a damn shame that he is still without a drive for 2010.

Kubica and Heidfeld had raced together at BMW Sauber from late 2006 until the end of the 2009 season. There is no doubt in my mind that the two know each other somewhat well by now, and I’m sure that they must be able to work together just as well, too. Renault should sign Heidfeld, at least for the sake of continuity.

Heidfeld has several years of race experience, is a proven points scorer, and knows Kubica. It just seems like a no brainer to me. Is there any reason not to sign Heidfeld? There’s zero doubt in my mind that Heidfeld and Kubica is the best driver line-up that Renault can currently obtain.

A part of me would also like to see these two together at Renault just because I want them to emulate Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger, two drivers who also raced together at two different teams (Benetton and Ferrari).

Only time will tell what Renault does, but I hope that they go with the most logical choice. They don’t necessarily need sponsorship money as much as smaller teams, so they don’t require a pay driver. Heidfeld is the right choice, and I hope that Eric Boullier sees this.

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