Renault have today confirmed that Bruno Senna will drive for the team for the remainder of the 2011 season after reaching an amicable settlement with former driver Nick Heidfeld.
Heidfeld had been pursuing legal action against the team after he was dropped in favour of Senna for the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend. However, both driver and team have now reach an agreement and the German will leave the Endstone-based outfit with immediate effect.
“Our disagreement with Nick has been the subject of much media coverage lately, and we are pleased to have reached a swift and reasonable solution,” said Eric Boullier, Lotus Renault GP team principal. “Our separation process was already a painful one, and neither of us wanted to go through another legal hearing. We're very grateful to Nick for the highly valuable contribution he's made to the team. We certainly had good times together, in particular remembering our podium finish in Malaysia. He is a very strong and determined racer and we wish him every success in the future.”
Heidfeld said that he was disappointed to be leaving the team after completing only 11 grand prix of a 19-race season, but hopes to soon be back ‘racing at the highest level’:
“Obviously I'm disappointed to be leaving Lotus Renault GP in the middle of the season,” commented the German. “I thought I could still make a big contribution to the team, but I have to see things as they are and I want to turn my attention to the future. We have taken the right decision by choosing to end our collaboration today. I would like to wish all the friends I made at Enstone a successful end to the season. One thing is for sure – I'll be back racing at the highest level soon.”
This settlement means that Renault can now confirm that Bruno Senna will be racing at each of the remaining seven races this season alongside Vitaly Petrov.
Romain Grosjean, who won the 2011 GP2 championship last weekend in Spa-Francorchamps, will remain as the team’s third driver.