This year’s Lotus car will be called the E20.
Romain Grosjean has admitted he almost quit motor sport after his formula one career hit the rocks after just seven grands prix in 2009.
Among the victims of the ‘crashgate’ saga, the Frenchman had replaced sacked Nelson Piquet at Renault but then fell by the wayside as Flavio Briatore’s career foundered and the team moved into new hands.
Robert Wickens, Kevin Korjus and Jan Charouz
Lotus Renault has today announced its three drivers for the Abu Dhabi young driver test, which takes place later this month. The rookie days will take place from Tuesday 15th – Thursday 17th November at the Yas Marina Circuit, which will also be scene of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix a few days before.
Auto Motor und Sport said 34-year-old Heidfeld’s management is also not commenting.
24 hours before the drivers file into the Spa-Francorchamps paddock, there is no confirmation about Nick Heidfeld’s apparent loss of his Renault race seat. Multiple media sources are unofficially confirming Heidfeld’s former boss Eddie Jordan’s claim this week that Bruno Senna will be in the black R31 alongside Vitaly Petrov this weekend in Belgium and possibly beyond.
The report said the team’s split approach is for two reasons.
Nick Heidfeld’s Renault will be fitted with an experimental Red Bull-style rearward facing exhaust on Friday at the Nurburgring. According to Auto Motor und Sport, the sister R31 driven by Vitaly Petrov will still be featuring the team’s innovative front-exiting exhausts, which have been used by the Renault drivers throughout 2011 so far.
“The situation is very clear”
Eric Boullier has dismissed speculation that Robert Kubica will not return to the Renault lineup this year even if the Pole is fully recovered. It has been rumoured that, presumably in the interest of continuity, the Enstone based team plans to definitely conclude the 2011 season with substitute Nick Heidfeld at the wheel of the R31.
Adrian Newey has ruled out copying Renault’s unique front-exiting exhaust system.
“We heard rumours in the winter that Renault would take this path,” Red Bull’s highly respected car designer told Auto Bild Motor Sport. “But we have wasted no time to develop in that direction,” he revealed. “We wanted to focus on our system because we knew for sure that it would work.”
“Best to be on the safe side” – Boullier
The Renault cars did not immediately run in Friday afternoon practice while the team investigated the technical failures of the initial session at Sepang. Team boss Eric Boullier confirmed at the Malaysian circuit that neither Nick Heidfeld or Vitaly Petrov would return to their R31s until the problem is understood and rectified.
Jerome d’Ambrosio then had a similar incident at the wheel of his Virgin.
Nick Heidfeld said he did not know the details of the problems that affected both Renault drivers in initial practice at Sepang. The German had to return to the pits with a damaged tyre and floor after an apparent brake locking problem.
Rivals eye Red Bull’s KERS, flex, dominance
Red Bull admitted it did not use KERS at any time on Saturday or Sunday after Sebastian Vettel dominantly won the Australian grand prix. Finally quashing rumours that the RB7 features a ‘mini-KERS’ that is used only for grand prix starts, team boss Christian Horner said the energy-recovery systems in Vettel and Mark Webber’s cars were actually removed altogether after Friday practice.
Heidfeld also worried about ‘piano’ steering wheels
Nick Heidfeld is refusing to rule out the possibility of racing to his first grand prix victory in 2011. After initially facing the prospect of a season on the sidelines, the formula one veteran is now at the wheel of the innovative R31 that originally was to be driven by injured regular Robert Kubica.
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