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 Nick Lars Heidfeld   |  Stats  |  2007 - 2008 F1 Articles

All Hail Heidfeld!   By Jeremy McMullen
While all eyes have been on the renewed battle between Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes, there is another team quietly pushing ever closer toward achieving victory. At Australia, a white and blue car snagged the fourth spot without attracting too much attention. At the Malaysian grand prix there appeared the same white and blue car crossing the line in front of the second Ferrari of Massa with its driver waving his hands frantically. No, the driver of the white and blue car was not lapped traffic motioning a 'Well done' to Massa. The car in question actually came home ahead of the Ferrari for fourth place. Then, in Bahrain, the same car again came home in fourth but this time ahead of world champion Alonso in his McLaren-Mercedes. Behind all the hoop-lah of Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes, behind all the excitement due to Alonso, Hamilton, Massa, and Raikkonen, there is another sneaking up to snatch victory away. Behold, Nick Heidfeld and BMW-Sauber.

BMW-Sauber, while in their first year as partners, finished fifth in the world championship last year. Going into this year there was much anticipation, but also, reasonable apprehension. The team believed they would be able to challenge for high scoring positions. The goal at the beginning of the year was to finish third in the constructor's championship. But it's safe to say the bar needs to be raised even higher. After the re-emergence of McLaren-Mercedes' pace and Ferrari's continual running up front many people throughout the paddock believed the first four places were a virtual lock. However, Heidfeld has proven that theory to be wrong, as well as, proven BMW-Sauber to be better than many anticipated. Some are so surprised that the team's sportsmanship has come into question.

After the first race in Australia, it was believed BMW-Sauber ran a light fuel load in an effort to get up front and virtually hold off potentially quicker cars to enable the team and Heidfeld to come home with a fourth place result. However, after three straight fourth place finishes, and stints between pit stops longer than those of Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes, BMW-Sauber has proven their pace to be a reality.

Heidfeld came home in a rather quiet fourth place at the Australian Grand Prix only because of the sheer dominance of Kimi Raikonnen and his Ferrari. After the fourth place at the Malaysian grand prix eyes have come to be more focused on BMW-Sauber. People throughout the paddock have come to wonder how good the team really is. Some of the questions leveled against BMW-Sauber's speed and sportsmanship are no doubt due to Nick's apparent fall from grace throughout F1. The once touted future star has seemed to fizzle in many eyes. But now, after another impressive fourth place in Bahrain, which saw Heidfeld hold off the double world champion Alonso, people have now come to wonder, 'How good could the team become?'

Amazingly, while just as the F1.07 chassis continues to impress, so too does Heidfeld. And while many in the team believed the chassis to be the chariot to take the team closer toward the goal of world champions, such high opinions of Heidfeld have waned in the last few years. Much of the team's hopes have been placed upon Heidfeld's teammate Robert Kubica. And yet, Heidfeld has upstaged his teammate at every race so far.

In contrast to Kubica, many people around F1 believed Nick Heidfeld's career was on the downswing. Written off the last few years, Nick Heidfeld has re-emerged as a good, consistent, and fast driver. BMW-Sauber hoped Heidfeld would at least turn out to be a good platform driver to enable the team to prepare for a serious title push in the near future. What they have instead is a driver contending for the team's first win and the team's leading contender for the championship push the team plans for 2008 and 2009.

As the season returns for the swing through Europe, many more eyes have to be on BMW-Sauber and Heidfeld, but not with so much apprehension. By no means has this season become a forgone conclusion. Up to this point Heidfeld has proven to be able to be close enough to the four top drivers to take away valuable points when the opportunity presents itself. This is the German's last year of his contract with BMW-Sauber and his performances so far this year may present him with another opportunity to prove himself. And while Heidfeld may not challenge for the driver's championship this year, the question remains as to what he could do, as well as, where he could end up.
Germany Drivers  F1 Drivers From Germany 
Kurt Adolff
Kurt Karl-Heinrich Ahrens, Jr.
Michael Bartels
Edgar Barth
Erwin Bauer
Karl-Günther Bechem
Stefan Bellof
Adolf Brudes
Christian Danner
Ludwig Fischer
Theodor Fitzau
Heinz-Harald Frentzen
Timo Glock
Helm Glöckler
Dora Greifzu
Hubert Hahne
Willi Heeks
Nick Lars Heidfeld
Theo Helfrich
Hans Herrmann
Hans Heyer
Nicolas 'Nico' Hulkenberg
Oswald Karch
Willi Kauhsen
Hans Klenk
Karl Kling
Ernst Klodwig
Willi Krakau
Rudolf Krause
Kurt Kuhnke
Hermann Lang
Ernst Loof
Andre Lotterer
Jochen Richard Mass
Harry Erich Merkel
Gerhard Karl Mitter
Hans Müller-Perschl
Helmut Niedermayr
Josef Peters
Paul Pietsch
Fritz Riess
Nico Erik Rosberg
Bernd Schneider
Rudolf Schoeller
Michael Schumacher
Ralf Schumacher
Wolfgang Seidel
Günther Seiffert
Rolf Johann Stommelen
Hans Stuck
Hans-Joachim Stuck
Adrian Sutil
Anton 'Toni' Ulmen
Sebastian Vettel
Wolfgang von Trips
Volker Weidler
Hans Wiedmer
Manfred Winkelhock
Markus Winkelhock
Formula One World Drivers' Champions
1950 G. Farina
1951 J. Fangio
1952 A. Ascari
1953 A. Ascari
1954 J. Fangio
1955 J. Fangio
1956 J. Fangio
1957 J. Fangio
1958 M. Hawthorn
1959 S. Brabham
1960 S. Brabham
1961 P. Hill, Jr
1962 N. Hill
1963 J. Clark, Jr.
1964 J. Surtees
1965 J. Clark, Jr.
1966 S. Brabham
1967 D. Hulme
1968 N. Hill
1969 S. Stewart
1970 K. Rindt
1971 S. Stewart
1972 E. Fittipaldi
1973 S. Stewart
1974 E. Fittipaldi
1975 A. Lauda
1976 J. Hunt
1977 A. Lauda
1978 M. Andretti
1979 J. Scheckter
1980 A. Jones
1981 N. Piquet
1982 K. Rosberg
1983 N. Piquet
1984 A. Lauda
1985 A. Prost
1986 A. Prost
1987 N. Piquet
1988 A. Senna
1989 A. Prost
1990 A. Senna
1991 A. Senna
1992 N. Mansell
1993 A. Prost
1994 M. Schumacher
1995 M. Schumacher
1996 D. Hill
1997 J. Villeneuve
1998 M. Hakkinen
1999 M. Hakkinen
2000 M. Schumacher
2001 M. Schumacher
2002 M. Schumacher
2003 M. Schumacher
2004 M. Schumacher
2005 F. Alonso
2006 F. Alonso
2007 K. Raikkonen
2008 L. Hamilton
2009 J. Button
2010 S. Vettel
2011 S. Vettel
2012 S. Vettel
2013 S. Vettel
2014 L. Hamilton
2015 L. Hamilton