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Senna in for Heidfeld at Renault

Nick Heidfeld's time at Lotus Renault F1 is up, with the German being axed ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.
Nick Heidfeld's time at Lotus Renault F1 is up, according to the BBC, amid speculation that the German is to be replaced by Bruno Senna ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

Just days after the Enstone team was criticised by BBC pundit Eddie Jordan for its 'bullying' treatment of Heidfeld, the British broadcaster announced that Senna would take the German's place alongside Vitaly Petrov, effectively becoming the second replacement for the injured Robert Kubica following the Pole's pre-season rally accident.

Senna briefly replaced Heidfeld in free practice for the recent Hungarian Grand Prix, but that move was seen merely as a fulfilment of the Brazilian's contractual requirements, as he brings much-needed sponsorship to Renault. Now, however, he is to be given a chance to show what he can do over the remaining eight races, with the Belgian round being his first race appearance since completing the 2010 season with backmarker HRT.

The 27-year old failed to score last season, and will hope that Renault holds on to its top ten potential, despite the team appearing to be on the slide after a promising start to the 2011 campaign, when both Heidfeld and Petrov claimed podium finishes. The German currently lies eighth overall in the 2011 standings, two points ahead of Petrov.

Having made a late appearance at BMW Sauber in 2010, Heidfeld - who has finished second in a grand prix no fewer than eight times, but has never won a race, and now holds the record for scoring the greatest number of points without topping the podium - had hoped that his role with Renault could lead to a full-time ride for the future, but he now looks set to be cast back into the melting pot of drivers chasing a limited number of seats in 2012.

Senna could yet join Heidfeld in that group, with reports that Kubica could be sufficiently recovered to test in a simulator by the end of September. Should he prove not to have lost his edge, the Pole would be favourite to reclaim his Renault ride next season, but the team has no shortage of potential replacements, with GP2 points leader Romain Grosjean expected to head the list. The Frenchman is unlikely to be considered for Heidfeld's seat until he clinched the title, but could appear at the end of the season if Kubica is unable to return that early.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his fifth feature race win of the 2011 season at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
11/2/2011- Nick Heidfeld (GER), is due to be testing for Lotus Renault GP to replace Robert Kubica (POL), Lotus Renault GP, R31
29.07.2011 Bruno Senna (BRA),  Lotus Renault GP R31
28.07.2011 Bruno Senna (BRA),  Lotus Renault GP R31
29.07.2011 Bruno Senna (BRA),  Lotus Renault GP R31
24.07.2011- Race, Crash, Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16 leads Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16

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August 23, 2011 12:53 AM

This is BULL$H1T... Heidfeld has done a good job this season... he's always raced very well... he's had bad luck and bad reliability over the last few races when he's been in point scoring positions which has resulted in no points... Renault have blamed him for a lot of their mistakes including Hungary which was RIDICULOUS!!! I hope he gets another drive somewhere else and is back next season.

SB - Unregistered

August 23, 2011 2:26 AM

To all those commenting on how lousy Bruno is and how stupid Renault is in dropping Nick, are you the same guys who spew hate at Michael Schumacher and ask him to retire so that the seat can go to a young driver?Atleast Michael has 7 WDCs and 91 GP wins.The way you guys support Nick,it seems like he has won more than any other driver on the grid.And when someone points out that he hasn't won anything,all of you will immediately jump to his defense saying his cars were crap.Well then what do you call Bruno's HRT last year?A bullock cart masquerading as a F1 car.Come on,you don't have to like him but atleast give him a chance in a decent car,as opposed to the guy who has spent 10 years and won nothing except for the distinction of having max no of 2nd positions and getting max points without any wins.

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