Heidfeld Takes the Quiet Approach

Germany's Nick Heidfeld, so low-key as to be almost invisible in the brash world of Formula One, put the Schumacher brothers in the shade on Sunday

Heidfeld Takes the Quiet Approach

While his fine run to third place in the Malaysian Grand Prix equalled the best result of his career, with Sauber in 2001, the Williams driver was not about to shout his delight from the rooftops.

"I don't drive in Formula One to be in the limelight, you know," he said when asked how it felt to beat his more illustrious compatriots. "I am quite happy to be in the shadow and finish on the podium."

That may be the case, but Ferrari's Michael Schumacher recognised an outstanding performance as did Heidfeld's own BMW-powered team.

"It was a classy performance from Nick, as well as from Ralf and Toyota," said the German, whose younger brother finished fifth after a battle with Heidfeld. Toyota also secured their first podium with Italian Jarno Trulli second.

"It was a super result for them, much better than anyone could have imagined. Especially for Nick. I'm happy for him," he told German television.

"We used to train together on a go-kart track and now he's driving circles around me," added Schumacher. "He had a super race and got a great position, his second third-place finish. I think he's going to show us all quite a bit more."

Sam Michael, the Williams technical director, also showed his appreciation.

"Nick proved himself to be a fantastic racer with all the overtaking he did without causing any incident," he said. "He drove the second fastest lap of the race and finished third coming from 10th."

Heidfeld, who was confirmed by Williams only at the end of January after winning a 'shoot-off' with Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia, revealed afterwards that he had driven in the sweltering heat with a faulty water bottle. Despite that, he battled Australian teammate Mark Webber and Ralf after passing both the Red Bulls on the opening lap.

Webber, running fourth, later went out after colliding with the third-placed Renault of Italian Giancarlo Fisichella. Their retirements opened Heidfeld's route to the podium.

"It was a fight between three cars and that made it even more difficult and more exciting," said the 27-year-old. "I just had to try and judge what was going to happen next and I just got the upper hand in the end."

shares
comments
Toyota Make the Big Breakthrough
Previous article

Toyota Make the Big Breakthrough

Next article

Briatore: Renault in a Different Class

Briatore: Renault in a Different Class
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022