“He's not an insult to Kubica, though. If you get someone like [Nico] Hülkenberg, you're saying 'get well soon Robert, we're going to put a new hotshot in the car to see what he can do', possibly one of the most exciting prospects in F1. That would be a bit of a kick in the ribs, which probably is the only thing that's not broken on Robert Kubica...
“If you put Heidfeld in, Kubica knows
he's better than Heidfeld; okay, they were fairly evenly-matched at Sauber, although he knows he probably has the edge. It's not insulting to Kubica, so I think for all those reasons, Heidfeld will be the driver for what will probably be the whole of the year. Maybe Kubica will come back for the last six 'flyaway' races, but I'd be surprised if that happens.”
As to whether at 33 years of age, 'Quick Nick' merits the opportunity, Kravitz is more non-committal, conceding that part of him would prefer to see a young gun like Hülkenberg given the chance to demonstrate his mettle after being released – unjustly, in many observers' eyes – by Williams F1 to make way for the well-heeled Pastor Maldonado this year. But then the 'Incredible Hulk' is tied into Force India and Mercedes, whereas Heidfeld is a free agent.
“He's had his chances throughout the years – he was in a car that could win races at BMW...Kubica won a race in it – but a lot of drivers never get Heidfeld's chance,” he mused. “He's had a good career as a professional racing driver, he hasn't disgraced himself, he would have gone away this year, called it a day and gone to sportscars, DTM or whatever, so if he can perform the role of the 'super-sub', then I think he'll be happy with that.
“Does he deserve the chance? Well, he's had his chances so I don't know if he deserves it or not. You could say Hülkenberg deserves it more than Heidfeld, who has had the opportunity to show what he can do – but I hope Nick gets it, because he's a good guy.”
The F1 2011 World Championship campaign will rev into life with the curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir on 13 March. The BBC
will broadcast all of the action both on and off-track season-long via comprehensive coverage across TV, HD, radio, online, red button and mobile.