Nick Heidfeld has expressed his 'surprise' and 'regret' at having been dropped by Lotus Renault, but has reiterated that he has a 'clear contract' and that he still 'wants' to drive for the Enstone-based outfit.
Heidfeld was ditched ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix and while the team has since confirmed that test and reserve driver Bruno Senna will take his place for Spa and Monza, the 34-year-old has begun legal proceedings in a bid to regain his seat and the matter will now be heard by the High Court in London following the Italian Grand Prix on September 11.
“I was surprised by the team's intention to replace me and regret that things have developed this way,” Heidfeld said. “I just wanted to be in the cockpit to get the best result for the team and me. I still have a clear contract and I want to drive.”
Heidfeld's manager Andre Theuerzeit meanwhile is 'hopeful' Nick will be back in action in Singapore.
“I am disappointed that the team is allowed to let another driver take Nick's seat for the next weekends.
“However, I certainly am confident that we will be able to enforce a fair solution for Nick in the further proceedings. We all hope that Nick will be back in the cockpit in Singapore,” Theuerzeit added.
"The interlocutory decision of the court does not infringe on the fact that Nick has a valid contract to be one of the two main drivers of the team,” stressed his legal representative, Dr. Stefan Seitz.
“This position is disputed by the team for apparently purely financial reasons.
“We do not intend to rest before Nick's legal position has been fully restored,” Seitz summed-up.