Renault to test Heidfeld in Jerez
Nick Heidfeld will test Lotus Renault GP’s new R31 at the pre-season tests in Jerez as speculations continue to build on who will cover for Kubica, whilst the Polish driver recovers from serious injuries he sustained in a rally accident last weekend. 33-year old Heidfeld, who doesn’t have a seat for the 2011 season, is the current front runner to replace injured Kubica. The Lotus Renault GP team will also give reserve driver, Bruno Senna, his first test in the 2011 car at the Jerez tests, which get underway today. But, the team has made no secret of the fact that they will need an experienced driver to lead its team if Kubica is going to be out for a good part of the season. A Renault source told Bild "[Vitaly] Petrov is relatively inexperienced. In order to exhaust the full potential of the car, we definitely need a strong and experienced man. And the team has already been talking with Heidfeld in the past years." Whilst the Lotus Renault GP team boss, Gerard Lopez added: "We all know that Nick is rather good, but we don't know what level he is in now, we don't know how he does with our car. Same goes for Tonio Liuzzi, same goes - I don't know - for Bruno Senna, who last year was in a team with a car that could do nothing," However, the team was quick to clarify that Heidfeld had not yet been definitely appointed as Kubica's replacement, but instead, that they intend to "evaluate Heidfeld, who is a potential replacement for Kubica as a race driver". It is believed that Vitaly Petrov will drive at the pre-season tests in Jerez on Thursday and Friday, before Heidfeld and Senna get mileage on the Saturday and Sunday.