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Q&A: Nick Heidfeld, Renault

Nick Heidfeld: We have an idea of where we stand, but nobody knows exactly. I think we have good performance in the car and, if everything is working well, I hope we can fight for podiums from the start of the season.
Lotus Renault GP new recruit Nick Heidfeld explains how he has settled into the team and talks about his hopes ahead of the F1 2011 season opener in Australia.



Q:
Nick, the first race is upon us. Are you excited?

Nick Heidfeld:
I always enjoy coming to Australia. It's my favourite place to travel to on the calendar because the people are relaxed and there's always a warm atmosphere.

Q:
You've been with the team just over a month. How have you found things?

Nick Heidfeld:
Right from the first test I have tried to push the car in the right direction and I've really enjoyed working with the team. I can have more input here than I was used to in other teams because everybody is very open and interested in what I have to say.

Q:
What sort of winter have you had?

Nick Heidfeld:
You always have to put things in perspective when talking about testing. I think we have a quick car, but like every team on the grid we have had a few issues to cope with during the tests, especially in terms of reliability. This said, we've been able to develop some very promising elements.

Q:
Have you been able to judge the competitiveness of the R31?

Nick Heidfeld:
We have an idea of where we stand, but nobody knows exactly. I think we have good performance in the car and, if everything is working well, I hope we can fight for podiums from the start of the season.

Q:
People say that a nice looking car can't be slow...

Nick Heidfeld:
Well, the answer to this one is in the question. The car is gorgeous. I know this is very subjective, but you have to see the R31 for real.

Q:
You've contributed to the Pirelli testing last year. Will it help you this season?

Nick Heidfeld:
Not at all. I can't even remember what we did then (big smile)

Q:
What can we expect in Melbourne?

Nick Heidfeld:
There are lots of unknowns, especially because it's the first time we will race with the new adjustable rear wing, KERS and Pirelli tyres. I believe the tyres will have the biggest impact and will make the strategy quite exciting. I expect to see a lot more pit stops than in the past – at least three per race – and I believe the pit stop windows will be narrower. That's because when the tyres degrade and lose performance, you have no choice but to pit, otherwise you lose too much time.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
10.03.2011- Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
21.02.2011- Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
21.02.2011- Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
21.02.2011 - Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
21.02.2011- Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
20.02.2011- Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31

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