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BMW drivers: is it me or...


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#51 Flyhigh

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 21:59

This over hype of Heidfeld seems to me to just be actually over compansation. True, he may be an underated driver, but not by much and there is no reason to blow it over the top also. He is what he is, a good steady second tier type of driver. He reminds me a lot of Fisichella, Barrichello, Alesi, Button... He is a good driver but not an outstanding one. The guy is about 10 years in F1, he hasn`t achivied much just because he is not very `outgoing` If this was the case Kimi wouldn`t get anywhere.

And what is this nonsense about him beating all of his team mates? What Is most important regarding Heidfeld for me is last year. When he drove the best car he has ever driven in his career, for a good part of the season it was considered a top car. And who was with chances in the WDC until the last few races, Heidfeld? No, it was Robert Kubica. Besides this, when he beat Kimi and Massa they were in their first season in F1 and very inpexrienced. And he never blown away any of them at all, it was very close. And it was at a time when Rookies actually needed some time to adapt to F1. So this is a bunch of half truths.

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#52 potmotr

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 22:14

All this stuff about Heidfeld not being at the top level as nonsense.

Give him a race winning car and he'd do the job, no question.

#53 Flyhigh

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 22:31

All this stuff about Heidfeld not being at the top level as nonsense.

Give him a race winning car and he'd do the job, no question.



This could be said for 80% of the drivers in F1. Last year he drove the best car he has ever driven and he was out performed by his team mate 75 to 60. I do believe Heidfeld would do the job in a great car,As I think many F1 drivers would. But I don`t think he is outstading is all.

#54 metz

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 22:53

I hear often on this forum what a fabulous driver Nick is.
He has beaten all his teammates and all that.

But why hasn't any top team hired him? Ever?
(Ok, BMW last year was arguably a top team, but Nick was there before they were a top team.)
Mercedes hired Kimi instead of Nick in 02, despite Nick being a Mercedes driver. And I've never heard he's been close to a deal with any of the top teams.
Why is that? Is he just overlooked because of bad luck? Or do teambosses know something fans don't?

I remember many Fisi fans, pre 05, saying what a great driver Fisi was who has beaten all his teammates. But given a top car he failed to deliver.
Is it something similair with Nick or is it something else that prevents him from getting a top drive?

Good questions that deserve an answer.
You must admit that Nick is far from overhyped. He has such a low profile he goes un-noticed. Even during the broadcasts, when Nick shows up 4th or on the podium, (like Silverstone or Spa) the reaction is usually "Where did he come from?"
Why hasn't any top team hired him? I eluded to this in my first post. Mercedes actually WANTED to hire him in '02, but Ron made the decision for Kimi. Who knows why? Ron liked Finns. Mika was a big influence at the time. "If you want to win, get a Finn!" etc. Had Mercedes been influencial or made the decision, history would be different. The german press points out that Ron has NEVER hired a German.
This was a big disappointment for Nick. So, he decides, if nobody will give him a fast car, he will help develop one. That was part of the reason for his loyalty to BMW.
So, that explains Mclaren and BMW. Other than that, Williams DID hire him after a competitive run-off with Pizzonia (who was Frank's first choice) and then BMW paid good money to Frank for taking Heidfeld under contract. The other top teams only include Ferrari (which had Schumacher) and Renault, which had Alonso. So the timing was all wrong for Nick. Ferrari was not about to get 2 Germans and Massa, after being thoroughly trounced by NH was represented to them bu J Todt's son. Been in the family ever since.
I agree with you about Fisi. I too was a fan. But HE got his chance at Renault and now AGAIN at ferrari. Nick never once was given a chance.
If I need to be critical of Nick it would be for the fact that he is not a leader. I run a small business. If my employees were all leaders we wouldn't get anything done. I need people that get down and do the real work. That is the kind that's hardest to find.
Personally, I believe that Nick is not attractive to the teams because he seems like he can not attract sponsors. And today, that's more important than any racing ability.

#55 metz

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 23:06

The NH/JV time together is one of those of interesting situations that because it ended acrimoniously for one half of the pairing it's assumed that he was pants. Jacques actually outqualified Nick 7-5, however Nick did have twice as much points as Jacques.

Nick had great respect for JV.
As a matter of fact he compared him and RK and said there was little difference between them.
As we know, Villeneuve had been out of racing for a while, came back to do 3 races with Renault and then joined Sauber before BMW took over. So JV was the incumbent.
When Robert got the drive, he had already been a tester for the team for some time, so not a straight rookie.
The Kimi rookie argument is also not too valid. It was Kimi's first year, yes, but only Nick's second year and BOTH were new to Sauber. That's if you count Prost as a valid team. They had no funds to test and were frequently not allowed on track on Fridays until the engine was paid for.

Edited by metz, 06 October 2009 - 17:04.


#56 ryan86

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 23:34

I still rated JV highly back then so it wasn't a surprise - I just think some people get the impression that Heidfeld was so good against JV that he blew him into the weeds and ended Jacques career, when the truth is Dr Mario was looking for any reason to get rid of Jacques.

#57 Birelman

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 04:14

everybody talk about Kubica as a keyplayer in the transfert market. tenault wants him, why not McLaren, etc...

It is clear he has beaten Heidfeld last year (after loosing one year and half before that), but this year, I got the feeling Heidfeld is clearly overperforming him in terms of pace (even in Monza where he finished behind for example).

And since I read Kubica's name everywhere I was wondering if I saw wrong or if his last year's reputation is still having effects...


The thing is, teams don't exactly judge drivers only by who they beat, or, how they did against their teammates, or when they outperformed. Kubica is one of those rare talents, like Alonso, Hamilton, Kimi, Vettel. Call it, the "IT" factor, or "Flair", he just has it, that's why Heidfeld is hardly mentioned in the same breath as him.

#58 cheapracer

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 06:31

People underrated Heidfeld who beaten Raikkonen, Massa, Vettel and Webber in the same machinery.


Really? So he beat rookies? Whats your point? Lets see, Kimi WDC, Massa WDC for 30 seconds, Vettle and Webber GP winners and this years main WDC challengers and still a chance for Vettle.

Now as for Nick Heidfeld errrr, Wiki explains it well...

Despite his recent success, Heidfeld is yet to win a race during his nine seasons in Formula One. This means that amongst the current drivers, he has had the most GP starts without standing at the top spot on the podium. Heidfeld has now started over 150 races, so if he were to eventually win a race he would break the record for most starts before a maiden victory. This is currently held by Mark Webber, who claimed his first victory on his 131st attempt. Heidfeld also currently holds three other dubious records; he is the driver who has scored the highest number of world championship points without a Grand Prix win, shares the record for the most podium finishes without a Grand Prix win with Stefan Johansson, and has the most second place finishes without a win, with 8. He also holds the record for the most consecutive race classifications with a tally of 41, as well as the most finishes in a season when he finished all 18 races in the 2008 season.

Kubica and Heidfeld have the results on the board to back up their mid field talent.


#59 cheapracer

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 06:33

It's a bandwagon... :lol:



:lol:




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#60 Walsingham

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 06:56

Really? So he beat rookies? Whats your point?
Kubica and Heidfeld have the results on the board to back up their mid field talent.


My point is very simple. In an inferior car RK and NH were leading both championships against crews of Raikkonen-Massa and Hamilton-Kovalainen in faster cars. If thats miedfield result for you than Raikkonen, Massa, Hamilton and Kovalainen should be moved to Force India and Torro Rosso immediately, because they achieve less in better cars.

If only BMW kept the initial 0.2, 0.3 distance to top teams Kubica would be WDC and BMW would be likely WCC with inferior cars, just on their consistency and perfection (not making errors). As I mention I dont share all this "sheer pace", "hunger for win", "knowledge how to win" mystic bu**shit. What I know for sure and can prove wit statistics is that Heidfeld-Kubica combo is the least erratic in whole field, they dont crack under pressure, they rarely make unforced errors, they almost never brake the rules and are penalised. Had they RBR or Brawn car, this season would be over 4 races ago.

Too bad their styles differ so much because without Nicks tyre heating problems in 08 they'd probably ended second in WCC even considering BMW lost development race.

#61 pacwest

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 06:58

Kubica is driver that is blown out of proportion, he is exotic, he is refreshing, he reminds of Gargamel ....



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#62 crashgate

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 08:14

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:up:

haha great :wave: :)

#63 velgajski1

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 08:39

and Webber, and Glock and Alesi.

As a long time Heidfeld fan, (I think there are only a hand full on this board) I can tell you that the question posed has been valid since 2002.
What he lacks is an effective PR machine. He wrongly believes that his performance on track should be enough. It is not.
In this age of media, it is "hype" that makes the F1 world go round.
His pre-F1 record is stellar and he certainly deserved to be here.
Since joining F1, even his own German media has not been promoting him. Not because he was not worthy but because they had their Schumacher.
In extolling the virtues of MS it often became necessary to downplay Heidfeld's accomplishments. Michael was driving the best car. Nick was dorking around in Prosts and Jordans and Saubers. Yet, other than HHF, he shaded every one of his teamates. To me, all of them were top drawer.
We all know that he was devasteded when Ron picked Kimi to come to Mac. Many said that this somehow "proved" that KR was the better prospect. Had the decision been Mercede's to make, or had Mika not had an influence or had Ron not preffered Finns to Germans, who knows?
Kimi DID win several races with McLaren but never a championship with an obviously capable car.
Webber was clearly the number one driver at Williams in '05, yet Nick just "sat there" and quietly beat him on points, even with twice as many mechanical failures as Mark.
In '06 he beat JV and Robert, one an old war horse and the other a rising star. In '07 again, in the last half of '08 they were even and now again in '09 he's ahead.
Nick's "black" period was the first 6 races of '08 where he had trouble with geting heat into the tyres. Robert showed what the car was capable of during that time. Nick could not d likewise when stuck in traffic two thirds back. Contrary to popular opinion, neither Robert nor the BMW got worse during last half of the year. The new parts for the car, and there were many, did not work at all. Nick changed his driving style (unlike Kimi, who had similar problems, but couldn't be arsed) and went on to even beat Robert in points over the last 10 races. When some fans compare his race pace, few consider the strategy, the heavy fuel and heavy traffic, which was the norm if qualifying poorly. Robert won in Montreal after Nick pulled over for him for the good of the team. It was the only way to assure a BMW 1-2 that day.
In '09, Nick is clearly in front. Robert leads qualifying by only 8-7 but Nick leads in points.
Before the Polish brigade start flaming here, let me say that Kubica is the best teamate that Nick ever had and I like them both very much for their no-nonsense, heads down, get the job done, kind of racing. Both deserve better, when I look at the young guns that are in top cars without having paid their dues.
As to the '09 driver market, being German is a big problem for Nick. With Hulkenberg, there are now 6 of them in play and it is not likely that any team will hire two of the same nationality.
Robert's popularity will help him land a good seat this year or next.
However, I fear for Nick. He's not just an older experience guy like Fisi or Rubens or Trulli or Webber. All 4 of them have had a chance with top cars.
Nick, unlike all of them, has never been consistently outperformed by the teamate.
Heidfeld needs a competitive car. He has proven that he can drive everything else.
The reason I'm a big Heidfeld booster is because he is consistently underated. Everybody admits it but does nothing about it.
The British media is focused on their Button/hamilton heroes. The German media once again is riding the next bandwagon of Vettel and Rosberg. Just today, AMuS praise Rosberg for his "perfec timing" of the SC yesterday.
Heidfeld needs fans like us that can see beyond the hype.


Not a Heidfeld fan, but completely agree with you. Heidfeld is in my view by far the most underrated driver in F1. His misfortune was most likely as you've said MS and lack of hype coming from that.

#64 potmotr

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 10:11

This could be said for 80% of the drivers in F1. Last year he drove the best car he has ever driven and he was out performed by his team mate 75 to 60. I do believe Heidfeld would do the job in a great car,As I think many F1 drivers would. But I don`t think he is outstading is all.


Nick had a crap season last year, no question.

He still took four 2nd places though.



#65 alecc

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 10:22

My point is very simple. In an inferior car RK and NH were leading both championships against crews of Raikkonen-Massa and Hamilton-Kovalainen in faster cars. If thats miedfield result for you than Raikkonen, Massa, Hamilton and Kovalainen should be moved to Force India and Torro Rosso immediately, because they achieve less in better cars.

If only BMW kept the initial 0.2, 0.3 distance to top teams Kubica would be WDC and BMW would be likely WCC with inferior cars, just on their consistency and perfection (not making errors). As I mention I dont share all this "sheer pace", "hunger for win", "knowledge how to win" mystic bu**shit. What I know for sure and can prove wit statistics is that Heidfeld-Kubica combo is the least erratic in whole field, they dont crack under pressure, they rarely make unforced errors, they almost never brake the rules and are penalised. Had they RBR or Brawn car, this season would be over 4 races ago.

Too bad their styles differ so much because without Nicks tyre heating problems in 08 they'd probably ended second in WCC even considering BMW lost development race.


I couldn't write it better with my poor english, 100% agree with you :up:

#66 Claudius

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 12:25

Good questions that deserve an answer.
You must admit that Nick is far from overhyped. He has such a low profile he goes un-noticed. Even during the broadcasts, when Nick shows up 4th or on the podium, (like Silverstone or Spa) the reaction is usually "Where did he come from?"
Why hasn't any top team hired him? I eluded to this in my first post. Mercedes actually WANTED to hire him in '02, but Ron made the decision for Kimi. Who knows why? Ron liked Finns. Mika was a big influence at the time. "If you want to win, get a Finn!" etc. Had Mercedes been influencial or made the decision, history would be different. The german press points out that Ron has NEVER hired a German.
This was a big disappointment for Nick. So, he decides, if nobody will give him a fast car, he will help develop one. That was part of the reason for his loyalty to BMW.
So, that explains Mclaren and BMW. Other than that, Williams DID hire him after a competitive run-off with Pizzonia (who was Frank's first choice) and then BMW paid good money to Frank for taking Heidfeld under contract. The other top teams only include Ferrari (which had Schumacher) and Renault, which had Alonso. So the timing was all wrong for Nick. Ferrari was not about to get 2 Germans and Massa, after being thoroughly trounced by NH was represented to them bu J Todt's son. Been in the family ever since.
I agree with you about Fisi. I too was a fan. But HE got his chance at Renault and now AGAIN at ferrari. Nick never once was given a chance.
If I need to be critical of Nick it would be for the fact that he is not a leader. I run a small business. If my employees were all leaders we wouldn't get anything done. I need people that get down and do the real work. That is the kind that's hardest to find.
Personally, I believe that Nick is not attractive to the teams because he seems like he can not attract sponsors. And today, that's more important than any racing ability.



I agree with you to some extent. He is somewhat underrated. And it's true that when he gets a good position the initial reaction is indeed "where the hell did he come from"?
He just seems so invisible during the races, to most fans at least. I believe the race control can be blamed for that as well.
Marketability can also be part of his problem as well, I agree with you.

But I still find it hard to believe that teambosses, who know pretty much everyhthing there is to know about the various drivers strenghts and weaknesses, would overlook Nick just because he's invisible or not marketable. I mean, Kimi doesn't strike me as the PR-departments dream, but still he is in demand and has a big salary.
Nick has been around for a decade and he definately is a known quantity in the paddock. And it seems, to me at least, that no big team is interested in retaining his services. Why that is I don't know but I believe there are some other reasons then marketability or sponsors that teams are aware of.

Having said that I hope he gets a top drive. So that we can see what he can deliver.



#67 metz

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 12:37

Let's don't drag MS into this. Strangely enough for a person striving seemingly for accuracy you had conveniently left out what a crappy car Ferrari was when MS came on board. I will not claim that he fixed, but he was part of the improvement process, and nothing was handed down to him on silver platte. What did those two geniuses improved at BMW other than publicly critiqued? I see Nick either to retire, or accept a veteran-seat with one of the new teams, and going nowhere. Sad as it is, his career is done. Any team taking Kubica on must be out of their mind, or realllllly desperate.

We all know where you stand on these two drivers but I'll answer anyway.
It's important to mention MS since most drivers get some support from their local media while all of the German media focused on Michael. The Ferrari was not exactly a crappy car. It was 2nd or 3rd best. helping this to number 1 status, with the resources at ferrari, is not the same as trying to get Jordan, Sauber or even Williams and BMW to that spot. I have often said that MS had the ability to motivate the team, something that Nick in his understated way has never been able to do. However, he did stick with BMW in the hope that they would eventually be able to field a competitive car. The ability for ANY driver to affect the development is generaly highly overated. But even so, it is widely known that both Robert and Nick made a great contribution in that area. '06-'07-'08 prove this.

Simpletons that dismiss Heidfeld because he has never won a race ignore the fact that none of his teamates did either. (Mt'l '08 could have been his). These teamates, KR, FM, JV, MW, required a faster car to have any wins. So does Nick.

It has also been mentioned that Heidfeld has never had a "wow" kind of drive. The guy makes two doube passes in one race, something not done in dry conditions in recent memory, and nobody remembers? This just proves my point.

#68 metz

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 14:02

On raw pace, they are fairly evenly matched.
The best yardstick is probably fastest laps.
In '07 it was 10 - 6 for Heidfeld
In '08 it was 7 - 10 for Kubica
In '09 it is 10 - 5 for Heidfeld
For Practice times this year, Kubica was faster at the beginning of this season, Heidfeld good lately.

#69 Sakae

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 14:40

We all know where you stand on these two drivers but I'll answer anyway.
It's important to mention MS since most drivers get some support from their local media while all of the German media focused on Michael. The Ferrari was not exactly a crappy car. It was 2nd or 3rd best. helping this to number 1 status, with the resources at ferrari, is not the same as trying to get Jordan, Sauber or even Williams and BMW to that spot. I have often said that MS had the ability to motivate the team, something that Nick in his understated way has never been able to do. However, he did stick with BMW in the hope that they would eventually be able to field a competitive car. The ability for ANY driver to affect the development is generaly highly overated. But even so, it is widely known that both Robert and Nick made a great contribution in that area. '06-'07-'08 prove this.

Simpletons that dismiss Heidfeld because he has never won a race ignore the fact that none of his teamates did either. (Mt'l '08 could have been his). These teamates, KR, FM, JV, MW, required a faster car to have any wins. So does Nick.

It has also been mentioned that Heidfeld has never had a "wow" kind of drive. The guy makes two doube passes in one race, something not done in dry conditions in recent memory, and nobody remembers? This just proves my point.

I admire you for sticking with Nick all those years, but so did I with Michael over a decade. Suprising for me, I have not realised that you thought I am hard on Nick? :)

Maybe on his colleague (and for good reasons), but Nick? Perhaps on my day off, but not under normal circumstance. He is well behaved, competent, quiet individual, family man. I am not sure whether I am describing MS, but obviously one had something what the others were lacking, including Nick.

The truth is, I would want him to win at least one race on merit before he leaves racing. Every driver should get it.

#70 potmotr

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 15:49

It is weird people think Nick is "non-marketable".

So he doesn't act like a clown and dish up cheesy one liners for the Press.

But if you listen to him speak he is among the most insightful and intelligent guys out there.



#71 stonebutter

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 16:32

I admire you for sticking with Nick all those years, but so did I with Michael over a decade. Suprising for me, I have not realised that you thought I am hard on Nick? :)

Maybe on his colleague (and for good reasons), but Nick? Perhaps on my day off, but not under normal circumstance. He is well behaved, competent, quiet individual, family man. I am not sure whether I am describing MS, but obviously one had something what the others were lacking, including Nick.

The truth is, I would want him to win at least one race on merit before he leaves racing. Every driver should get it.


Ah the troll is back. hows it goin? :clap:

#72 stonebutter

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 16:36

We all know where you stand on these two drivers but I'll answer anyway.
It's important to mention MS since most drivers get some support from their local media while all of the German media focused on Michael. The Ferrari was not exactly a crappy car. It was 2nd or 3rd best. helping this to number 1 status, with the resources at ferrari, is not the same as trying to get Jordan, Sauber or even Williams and BMW to that spot. I have often said that MS had the ability to motivate the team, something that Nick in his understated way has never been able to do. However, he did stick with BMW in the hope that they would eventually be able to field a competitive car. The ability for ANY driver to affect the development is generaly highly overated. But even so, it is widely known that both Robert and Nick made a great contribution in that area. '06-'07-'08 prove this.

Simpletons that dismiss Heidfeld because he has never won a race ignore the fact that none of his teamates did either. (Mt'l '08 could have been his). These teamates, KR, FM, JV, MW, required a faster car to have any wins. So does Nick.

It has also been mentioned that Heidfeld has never had a "wow" kind of drive. The guy makes two doube passes in one race, something not done in dry conditions in recent memory, and nobody remembers? This just proves my point.


Not taking any credit away from Heidfeld because I think he's a great driver, but his passing/racecraft in '08 certainly was flattered by starting from the midfield in a car capable of reaching the podium.

#73 metz

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 16:43

Not taking any credit away from Heidfeld because I think he's a great driver, but his passing/racecraft in '08 certainly was flattered by starting from the midfield in a car capable of reaching the podium.

True. But if we fault him for his bad qualifying, we must also give him credit for making up for it.


#74 stonebutter

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 16:48

True. But if we fault him for his bad qualifying, we must also give him credit for making up for it.


Agreed - fully deserving of a drive in a good team next year.