Nick Heidfeld's Formula E season has been quite a ride so far, to say the least.
There’s an old saying in sport that still rings true – the table doesn’t lie.
A quick look at the Formula E points standings reveals Nick Heidfeld to be down in 16th place, having scored just five points.
If you hadn’t seen any of the first four races you would never guess from the points that Heidfeld’s been one of the fastest drivers so far: one who’s led three of the four races and was on course to win the other when he was taken out…
What could have and should have been for the Venturi star are just conjecture, but with six rounds still to go, we find out if the veteran of 183 grands prix has written off his title chances just yet.
Nick, you seem to have the worst luck of any Formula E driver with what happened in Beijing, being excluded in Putrajaya and your penalty in Buenos Aires, how would you sum up your season so far?
“Indeed… don’t forget being taken out by [Franck] Montagny and another penalty on top of that! [in Punta del Este] These events are unfortunately still on my mind and you should try and always look at things positively but it is quite hard to take. Things should have been very good without all these incidents, but could have, should have doesn’t count for anything, even less in sport. So yes it is frustrating at the moment, especially knowing that we have good pace. Of course we’re working hard in order to ensure we have a strong car again for the next races. We’ve missed a lot of good opportunities.”
Given Venturi’s strong driver line-up, few expected it would be lying bottom of the team standings after four races, what can be done to turn this around in time for the Miami ePrix?
“Of course some of the things are difficult to change but from a driver’s perspective I always try to improve and to do anything I can to avoid making mistakes. Some things are just unfortunate. Sometimes though we make mistakes from a team’s perspective and this is something we’re working on and trying to improve as any other team would do as well.”
The team seemed to make steps forward during the official test in Punta del Este, what did you learn from that?
“I think we’ve made big improvements over the course of the season, both on the team and the set-up side. I think we’ve quite publically stated the test after Punta del Este [topped by Venturi’s Stephane Sarrazin] was crucial for us as we found massive improvement there. I think we didn’t show as much as we’d hoped at the next race [Buenos Aires], but it’s to be expected as you can’t always translate everything you find on one circuit to the other. We’ve been quick in the races all season long but we’ve been lacking in the qualifying, so this was one of the objectives of the Punta test. We made a step forward there.”
You’ve won FanBoost three times out of four now, what’s your opinion of it?
“I like the idea of getting the fans involved and I think that is fantastic but it doesn’t create a level playing field. Of course, if my fans and supporters give me the vote - which I’m always very grateful for - then I’ll use it!”