Heidfeld Targets Maiden F1 Win

Germany's Nick Heidfeld is looking forward to becoming a Grand Prix winner this season after finishing runner-up for the second race in a row on Sunday

Heidfeld Targets Maiden F1 Win

"Second in Monaco, second here and on top of that getting the pole position - it just can't get any better than that," said the Williams driver at the European Grand Prix, before suggesting that in fact it could.

"We started from the pole but I knew it would be hard for us to win this race," added Heidfeld.

"I would have thought that if everything worked out perfectly I could have finished third. And then with Kimi (Raikkonen) having a problem we got second.

"I was just lucky. But if we keep moving in the right direction I think that I'll have my first career win by the end of the season," said the driver, whose nickname "Quick Nick" is looking thoroughly deserved.

The German was helped by a spectacular last-lap suspension failure for McLaren's race leader Raikkonen that handed victory to Renault's Championship leader Fernando Alonso and lifted Heidfeld to second place.

The Moenchengladbach driver survived a mediocre start and a first corner collision to bask in the warm applause of a 112,000 crowd after eclipsing Ferrari's seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher.

While crowd favourite Schumacher is eighth overall with 16 points, Heidfeld is now fourth with 25.

Late Call-Up

Heidfeld is having the time of his life after five years with Prost, Sauber and Jordan in which he scored just 28 points from 84 races.

His career had seemed to be going nowhere last season, despite flattering an underperforming Jordan, until Williams called him up to test against their Brazilian reserve driver Antonio Pizzonia.

It was an ordeal that made Heidfeld stronger.

"I guess I would probably have ended up as a test driver this season or maybe with another team if that hadn't worked out," said the 28-year-old. "I'm glad things worked out."

Before last week's heroics in Monaco, Heidfeld was relatively low-profile even in Germany where the Schumachers dominate the headlines.

The Williams driver prefers it that way, and is already worried about people recognising him on the streets, even if his team are delighted with his success.

"Nick has taken full advantage of his chances," said BMW's motorsport director Mario Theissen. "It was a tremendous weekend for him. I'm thrilled that he's helped establish us as the third strongest team."

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