Nick Heidfeld in an interview

Interview with Nick Heidfeld
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How is your left hand ?

H eidfeld: The healing process is normal. And the two pins that were used to fix it have now been removed. As far as the muscles are concerned, there isn't much left under the splint. But that's normal.

What exactly did you have to mend?

Heidfeld: It was an SL band rupture. This band is mainly responsible for the mobility of the wrist.

And that happened in the accident in Malaysia?

Heidfeld: Yes, the steering angle in a Formula E car is quite large. It knocked its wrist away on impact. The tie probably broke.

You started the new season well. With P3 in Beijing. But how strong are you actually?

Heidfeld: Renault is ahead. Followed by Abbot. We are the third or fourth force depending on the route. At eye level with Dragon and Virgin, the latter being stronger in qualifying than in the race.

You say depending on the route. What kind of route do you like? They are all similar.

Heidfeld: That's difficult to say in the second year too. You don't have much time on site. Because the event takes place in one day. It is important that you have a good basic set-up.

When you see onboard recordings, it is noticeable that front-runner Renault is robbing the curbs differently than at Example her.

Heidfeld : Yes, that's right. We still have the standard Koni dampers. Although you can choose freely this season. Perhaps the competition has an advantage there.

How big is the actual gap to Renault?

Heidfeld: I was scared at the first race. At the second run in Malaysia the gap was a little smaller. But in Uruguay, Buemi moved from P5 to the top with no effort. And then dictated the pace at the front. I think if you don't make any mistakes, the thing is already over. That's how big the lead is.

What is your plan for catching up?

Heidfeld: The potential at Mahindra is there. On the financial and technical side. The fact that we are behind is partly due to the fact that we switched from the Carlin to the Campos team. And very late. But the thrust is right. For 2016/2017, I expect good chances.

You make a satisfied impression at Mahindra. But your team change didn't seem entirely voluntary. Is that correct?

Heidfeld: Well, as far as I am concerned, it was wanted. But in the media it came across differently.

As if Jacques Villeneuve had punched you out of the Venturi cockpit.

Heidfeld: Yes. But it was not like that. Venturi wanted to keep me. It wasn't an easy decision.

But you have no regrets, do you?

Heidfeld: No. Although I have to say: both teams are well positioned. At Mahindra, there is simply a larger company behind it. That makes cars, motorcycles and even airplanes, among other things. They know exactly what is required today. And that's why I see good prospects there.

Do you have a lot of PR work to do in India?

Heidfeld: To be honest: I've never been there.

Then it is high time ...

Heidfeld: Yes, after the race in Buenos Aires (February 6th, editor) I will probably fly to India for the first time.

Did you hear something about where the canceled race at Tempelhof could take place?

Heidfeld: No. But I hope you can find a replacement in Berlin. Although I would like to see a race in Zurich even more. I live around the corner. That would be a home race for me.

Where do you see Formula E in five years?

Heidfeld: The first steps have been taken. The first year was more successful than expected. And everything is going according to plan in the second season as well. Not everyone expected that either. Formula E will continue to grow. Technically, there is still a lot of potential. The battery performance in particular will improve significantly over the next few years. At the moment we are reaching a top speed of 220 km /h on the straight. This is of course nothing compared to the F1. But it is enough to drive on street circuits. We can't go too fast, otherwise we won't be able to use these race tracks in the cities at all. That would be too dangerous.

You could then switch to normal racetracks.

Heidfeld: Yes, but that does not correspond to the ideology of Formula E. And at the moment we would look old on a racetrack like Spa.

Will Formula 1 remain at the forefront of motorsport?

Heidfeld: Yes, I think so. But Formula E will catch up.


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