Nick Heidfeld

Nick Heidfeld Lars ( born May 10, 1977 in Mönchengladbach ) is a German racing driver. He joined from 2000 to 2011 in Formula 1 at. He graduated from the most races for those based in Hinwil Sauber, who took the meantime as BMW Sauber. As the biggest successes he recorded next to a pole position and a total of eight second-place finishes in fifth place in the standings in 2007. Heidfeld is also the driver with the most podium finishes (13 ) in the history of Formula 1, it did not win a race.

Since 2012, he drives in the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship ( WEC) for Rebellion Racing.

Heidfeld 1997 German Formula 3 and Formula 3000 champion in 1999.

  • 3.1 Career stations
  • 3.2 Statistics in Formula 1 3.2.1 Individual Results
  • 3.2.2 Records in Formula 1

Racing career

Beginnings in motorsport

As a five- year-old Heidfeld began his racing career when he was in a club with his brothers ( Tim, Sven ) took part in motocross races. After an accident in which his leg was wedged between fender and wheel, the throttle cable was open, his parents forbade him the sport after nearly losing his calf muscle.


Even as a six year old, he would by his own admission liked to karting. But these were too big for him: "I was too small. At the Leihkartbahnen there were always those rods: If you could walk among them, was not allowed to go " After a trip to the Nurburgring in 1984, he convinced his parents to be allowed to try again. . A blanket and two tires helped the distance to the steering wheel to bridge. When he nor his father Wolfgang overtook and held far behind, he was promised that the purchase of its own karts, which then in 1985 marked the real jump in motorsports.

In the Kart Club Kerpen- Manheim, he joined in on, inter alia, against Michael and Ralf Schumacher. A WDR documentation of those years shows the very childish Nick still on the lap of Mother Schumacher sitting, which at that time operated the clubhouse. During this time he took part in increasingly Club Championships as well as national and international races.

Beginnings in motorsport

In 1994, Heidfeld in the single-seater class Formula Ford in 1600. He won in his first season eight of nine races and secured himself superior to the title. Also, in the next stage in Formula Ford 1800, he won the 1995 championship. Heidfeld moved to the next higher class, Formula 3, in which he won three races in 1996 and third in the championship was. At the international Formula 3 Masters in Macau, he secured the pole position and the race win. In 1997, he finally secured the German Formula 3 title, which earned him the support of the German car manufacturer Mercedes -Benz.

Thanks to this support Heidfeld already tested in December 1997 for the first time a Formula 1 racing car of McLaren -Mercedes team and joined the International Formula 3000 Championship, where he worked for the junior team of McLaren, West Competition, took for two years. By the way, he tested continued sporadically in Formula 1

In his first Formula 3000 season Heidfeld had three wins before the final good title chances. At the last race but his pole position was not accepted due to an error of his team, so he had to start from the back. Instead, the Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya won the Formula 3000 championship.

1999 Heidfeld then decided with four wins and a record number of points in the championship. He achieved more points than the runner-up Jason Watt and third place Gonzalo Rodríguez had achieved together. Since McLaren team boss Ron Dennis was able to offer the young German no cockpit in F1, Heidfeld signed for French Formula 1 team, Prost Grand Prix, which was led by former world champion Alain Prost.

Formula 1

Prost (2000)

In his first Formula 1 - year Heidfeld remained no points, what his reputation as a fast emerging talent in the face of heavy verwindungsschwachen chassis of his race car and hardly better performance of his experienced team mate Jean Alesi but hardly hurt. His best finish was an eighth place at the Grand Prix of Monaco, for it but at that time was still no point. Since the end of the season, Prost lost the factory engines from Peugeot, Heidfeld looked for alternatives early and moved to the 2001 season to the Swiss Sauber team.

Sauber (2001-2003)

Even when tested in winter was to realize that Sauber had built a much better car than Prost in the previous year. Heidfeld was regularly points and won the race in Brazil his first podium. At the end of the season he was on the eighth place in the driver standings. In September 2001 there was a temporary upset with his former sponsor Mercedes -Benz, as McLaren had decided to Heidfeld's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to commit for 2002. Although the young Finn drove a less than Heidfeld points, but won because of his extraordinary achievements in relation to his experience, especially Ron Dennis.

After the 2001 season, the Sauber was able to win the fourth place in the constructors' championship, the following two years were less successful. 2002 Heidfeld drove to the side of the Formula 1 newcomer Felipe Massa, against whom he was able to prevail within the team, the competitiveness of his car stopped but within limits. In the 2003 Formula 1 season Heidfeld drove next to the also derived from Mönchengladbach Heinz -Harald Frentzen. After the results but did not improve significantly, to the two Sauber decided for the 2004 exchange.

Jordan ( 2004)

Heidfeld took an offer from Jordan teams for the 2004 season. He came in this year, only twice in the points and ended up at the end with 3 points on the 18th place in the overall standings. His best result was a seventh place at the Grand Prix of Monaco.

Williams ( 2005)

At the turn of 2004/2005 he was a second race seat at Williams in conversation. Since he had some experts such as Hans -Joachim Stuck, although awarded race driving skills competence, but denied any personal profile, this came as a surprise. Only the former Formula 1 driver and BMW Motorsport Director Gerhard Berger spoke in favor of Heidfeld. Heidfeld had to drive at Williams may direct Vergleichtstests against the previous test pilots Antonio Pizzonia contest, but he was able to clearly outperform. End of January 2005 Frank Williams officially announced that Heidfeld second team driver Mark Webber would be next.

From BMW boss Mario Theissen Motosport Heidfeld was in connection with his public appearance praise: " Nick has done an impressive job. He has the second cockpit earned its sovereign idea. "During the 2005 season, Heidfeld on a level with Webber. As highlights of the season are considered to be second place in Monaco and his first pole position at the Nürburgring. From the Italian Grand Prix, Heidfeld was replaced by Pizzonia. Initially Heidfeld could not start because of a training accident, and he later had to pause because of further injury.

BMW Sauber (2006-2009)

Once BMW had separated as an engine supplier to Williams and decided to start their own team by taking over the Sauber racing team, and Heidfeld was brought on board. Next to him, in 2006 former world champion Jacques Villeneuve has been committed for the season, but could not convince and was during the season replaced by the former test driver for the team, Robert Kubica. Heidfeld established himself with his team in midfield and was able to score points on a regular basis. For the 2007 season the goal was formulated to push into the top four of the constructors' championship.

In the first three races of the 2007 season Heidfeld reached fourth place respectively and established itself so early as the beginning, as a third force behind Ferrari and McLaren. The team was able to maintain this position through the season and finished at the end - due to the disqualification of McLaren team - even the second place among the designers. At the Grand Prix of Canada Heidfeld was able to pull the best result of the season, when he was second behind winner Lewis Hamilton. This result also provided the best result in the team's history dar. Heidfeld good result was overshadowed by a serious accident of his team Kollegens Kubica, who had to pause it at the next race.

On 21 August 2007 announced BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen that Heidfeld's contract for the 2008 season has been extended. At the end of the season Heidfeld finished fifth in the drivers' world championship, and he therefore had to admit defeat to the Ferrari and McLaren drivers.

The 2008 season began with a second place at the Australian Grand Prix success for him. Later, however, he was his team-mate Kubica several times, especially in qualifying, inferior. At the Canadian Grand Prix Kubica even scored the first victory for BMW Sauber, after Heidfeld for several laps in the lead. He finished the race in second place. Heidfeld, who had finished second in the UK and Belgium, succeeded also in the rest of the season not to win a race. At the end of the season, he finished sixth in the drivers' world championship. Internal team was defeated Kubica with 60 to 75 points.

Although Heidfeld defeated his teammate, he also went into the 2009 season for BMW Sauber at the start. Sauber continued to the beginning of the season, the energy recovery system KERS, but could not go to the World Cup title. However, Heidfeld drove to third place already at the second race in Malaysia. After the race had to be canceled due to heavy rain and could not be restarted, the previous round was considered for the race result, took second place in the Heidfeld. Since less than 75 % of the race distance have been completed, the driver received only half points. After the residue at the beginning of the season the team was not able to catch up, BMW announced after the Hungarian Grand Prix that you will get at the end of the formula 1. Following this decision, Heidfeld scored more points in four other races. In the overall classification, he finished with 19 points to 13th place and was thus just one place ahead of Kubica, who scored 17 points.

Mercedes / Pirelli ( 2010)

On February 4, 2010 Mercedes Grand Prix announced that Heidfeld will take the role in the 2010 season as a test and reserve driver for the team. Middle of the season Heidfeld has been released from Mercedes to switch as a test driver for the tire manufacturer Pirelli. He was also in this season, until his retirement from Mercedes, President of the drivers' union GPDA.

Clean (2010)

From the Singapore Grand Prix Heidfeld returned to Sauber Motorsport, replacing the Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa. This was Heidfeld for the third time with the Swiss under contract. At the Japanese Grand Prix, he scored with an eighth place his first placement in the points, which was his best yet. In the final stages of the race he let his teammates, who possessed strategy conditionally on better tires, happen without resistance lying in seventh place. Heidfeld played in the season five races for Sauber, where he ( six to eleven ) could not keep up with his team-mate Kamui Kobayashi of the points. However, he was able to achieve as many points as its predecessor de la Rosa in fewer races. Also the qualifying duel went with one to four against the Germans, who only in his last Grand Prix had a comparable motor from. At the end of the season, he finished 18th in the drivers' world championship.

Renault (2011)

For the 2011 season, Heidfeld was first in any team under contract, a return to Mercedes as a test and reserve driver but was quite certain. After his former team-mate Robert Kubica was severely injured in a rally accident, Heidfeld was touted as a possible replacement until full recovery Kubica. He subsequently participated in test drives for the Renault team, where he scored a fastest time. In mid-February he was taken by Renault as a replacement for the failed Kubica under contract, where he drove alongside Vitaly Petrov. After he had no points in the season opener after an involuntary collision that damaged his car significantly, he finished the second race in Malaysia on the third place. He succeeded to keep Red Bull driver Webber in the final laps behind. In the fifth race, the Grand Prix of Spain, he took due to a technical defect not in the qualifying part and had to start from last place. In the race he showed some overtaking maneuvers and improved to eighth place. After conducting employee 's achievements were not satisfied with his performance, Heidfeld was replaced after the Hungarian Grand Prix by Bruno Senna. Team Intern Heidfeld was at this time with 34 to 32 points, just ahead of Petrov. At the end of the season, he finished in eleventh place in the World Cup. After leaving Heidfeld's team tied less and less to the initial successes and the two pilots scored only seven more counters.

WEC and ALMS (since 2012)

For the 2012 season Heidfeld joined the FIA World Endurance Championship ( WEC) to Rebellion Racing. He went there in a Lola - Toyota at in three races in the LMP1 class in a team with Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost. At the 24 - hour race in Le Mans he used and his two teammates fourth overall position and decided the ranking of private drivers for itself.

Heidfeld started in 2013 continued in the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship and also in the American Le Mans Series, where he worked with Neel Jani finished in 2nd place in the overall standings in the team.

Also starts in the 2014 season for Heidfeld continued rebellion.


Nick Heidfeld is the second son of Wolfgang and Angelika Heidfeld and grew up in the Lower Rhine city of Mönchengladbach. He went there with his two brothers, the Hugo Junkers Gymnasium, which he graduated with a diploma. His younger brother Sven (born 25 October 1978) has also embarked on a career in motorsport, in 1997 German Formula Renault champion. Since 2005 he has his own racing school. Heidfeld's older brother Tim has no professional connection with motor sports. Heidfeld is not married, but for years lives with Patricia Papen. Together they have three children. The family lives near Zurich in Switzerland.

Heidfeld received early nicknamed " Quick Nick ". From 1992 to 2008 Heidfeld had finished with the Sport Manager Werner Heinz a management and consulting agreement. He will bang advise since 2009 by Andre Theuerzeit and its management agency.


Career stations

  • 2008: Formula 1 ( 6th place)
  • 2009: Formula 1 ( 13th place)
  • 2010: Formula 1 ( 18th place)
  • 2011: Formula 1 (11th )
  • 2012: WEC ( 14th)
  • 2013: WEC
  • 2013: ALMS (2nd place)

Statistics in Formula 1

Individual results

Records in Formula 1

  • Completed 41 races in a row in the class
  • Most podiums ( 13) of a winless driver ( 8 times 2nd, 5 times 3rd place)

Le Mans results