Heidfeld gets another chance
Formula One's 'nearly man' Nick Heidveld has been given an unexpected chance to race for Renault.
By Scott Mathie
Last Updated: 23/03/11 12:46pm
Formula One's 'nearly man' Nick Heidveld, has been given an unexpected chance to prove himself again on racing's grandest stage, and shake-off the tag that continues to haunt him.
Heidfeld appreciates he is fortunate to be racing in Formula One this year following a horrific rallying accident involving Robert Kubica earlier this year.
And with no-one yet to confirm whether Kubica will ever drive again, never mind at any point this year, it seems Heidfeld is almost certain to lead for Renault this season.
With 172 Grand-prix starts to his name, there is no doubt Heidfeld has the experience to lead the team, but the fact that he has never won a race continues to hang over him like a cloud.
The 33-year-old has, however, finished runner-up on eight previous occasions, and it has become a case of whether he will ever break his victory duck.
"I don't know, it's too early to say, but of course I would hope so," said Heidfeld.
"Everybody keeps asking me all the time, but I just don't know. If the car is good enough it will happen, but I'm not so tense in my head thinking just about a victory."
In Renault, Heidfeld certainly has a car that is good enough to push the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes, but whether it can consistently run at the front is yet to be seen.
"In theory my chances are higher," assessed Heidfeld in light of the car he has been given by Renault.
"The team is on the up, the car has had some very good developments and testing has gone well.
"However, it is very much an unknown as to whether it is good enough to win this season.
"I doubt very much we have the quickest car, but you don't always have to have the quickest to win one race. It can all come down to strategy and luck."
With Sunday's season-opener in Australia quickly approaching, Heidfeld is appreciative of the role that luck has already played in his season so far.
After being overlooked by Sauber at the end of last year, Heidfeld felt this year would likely pass him by - until Kubica's smash.
"It looked like it was over for the moment, but not forever," added Heidfeld. "Unfortunately I've been in similar situations before where it didn't look good over the winter, until something came along.
"But clearly this was the most extreme, very unexpected, which makes it nice in some way, apart from the fact Robert's bad accident is not a nice thing.
"Trying to put that to one side, it is always nice when something unexpected happens, and on top of that, with a good team."