Formula One Fantasy - Renault’s Nick Heidfeld

Nick Heidfeld is one of the longest-serving drivers on the current grid, with over 180 Grands Prix starts and 12 years of service to his name. As such, you would think that the German veteran has seen and done pretty much all there is to do in terms of Formula One racing. You’d be wrong. There’s still plenty left on Heidfeld’s F1 fantasy wish list, including dining with Ayrton Senna, Bernie Ecclestone, Enzo Ferrari and Colin Chapman, trying out 1950s-style F1 and driving Michael Schumacher’s title-winning 2004 Ferrari…

Q: You must choose a city for a new Formula One street circuit - which city, anywhere in the world, do you choose, and why?

Nick Heidfeld: New York! There have been discussions lately that New York might become a Formula One venue. And yes, I think it would be fantastic to race there.

Q: If you could choose one former world champion as your team mate, who would you choose and why?

NH: Ayrton Senna - he really had a great aura about him.

Q: Formula One innovations of the past - ground effect, active suspension, turbocharging, six wheels, the list goes on. If you could bring back one past innovation, what would it be and why?

NH: One innovation only? Then clearly it would be turbo engines, because everybody who drove with them speaks about liking them a lot. They say they were very difficult to drive with, so I think it would be quite cool to try.

Q: What innovations would you like to see in the future?

NH: I think it is difficult to speak about future innovations because you just don't know what they realistically might be. It's always interesting. If I look over the years since I have been in F1, there have been lots of innovations. Unfortunately some of them were disallowed but there were some quite interesting things.

Q: You can only drive at one circuit for the rest of your life - which circuit, past or present from anywhere in the world, do you choose?

NH: For me it would be the Nurburgring Nordschleife because it is a very long circuit and therefore less boring. It is the best circuit in the world anyway.

Q: Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Tyrrell, March are just some of the teams that have departed the sport. Which former team would you most liked to have raced with and why?

NH: I don't have a preference for which team I would have wanted to drive for in the past.

Q: You have to design a new F1 circuit, combining all your favourite corners from other tracks around the world. Which three corners are top of your list and why?

NH: My three favourite corners? First would be the Esses at Suzuka. In second and third places, I don´t know. I would have to think about. For me, nothing comes close to the Esses. If I had to design my favourite circuit I would want all of the Nordschleife, all of Macau which is my second favourite circuit and large parts of Suzuka.

Q: You can travel back in time and compete in any decade of Formula One racing, from the 1950s to the 1990s. Which decade would you choose and why?

NH: I think I’d like to go way back! Perhaps even to the 1950s to compare it with what we have now. More recently like in the 1990s the cars were still fast, but the fifties would have been very different. A different era entirely!

Q: What current Formula One regulation would you most like to change and why?

NH: This is a difficult one. I don’t like the fact that we are not allowed to change anything on the car between qualifying and the race. And I did like the time when we had a tyre competition between manufacturers.

Q: If you could pick two Formula One greats of the past (from different eras) to watch race against each other, who would you pick?

NH: I would have liked to have seen more of Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost.

Q: Just 19 of the world’s motor racing circuits feature on the current F1 calendar. You can add one more. Which circuit do you pick and why?

NH: I don’t know which circuit I would add. I like most of the circuits and I like to go to new circuits. So I’m looking forward to India for example or any new circuit on the calendar.

Q: You are having a dinner party and can invite four people from the world of motorsport, past or present. Who do you invite?

NH: Ayrton Senna, Bernie Ecclestone, Enzo Ferrari and Colin Chapman. It should make for a very interesting evening!

Q: You are given the chance to drive any legendary Formula One car of the past (excluding those made by your own team). Which car would you choose?

NH: The Ferrari from the year when Michael Schumacher won everything! (2004)

Q: Rooftop swimming pool, bowling alley, revolving sushi bar - just some of the features most F1 motorhomes don’t possess. If you could add one thing to your team’s motorhome, what would it be?

NH: Just an added 1000 square metres would make it a lot better.

Q: (Imagine) you have just won the world title. Where would you go for your celebratory meal and what would you choose from the menu?

NH: I think you’d be so happy that you wouldn’t really think about the food. You’d just be so over the moon that it wouldn’t be the main priority
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