Wednesday | 09 Nov 2022

Heidfeld evaluating further rallycross outings after promising RX2e bow

Former Formula 1 star Nick Heidfeld has said he ‘would like’ to continue his rallycross apprenticeship, after demonstrating encouraging progress during the course of his debut in the dual-surface discipline in the FIA RX2e Championship in Catalunya just over a week ago.

Former Formula 1 star Nick Heidfeld has said he ‘would like’ to continue his rallycross apprenticeship, after demonstrating encouraging progress during the course of his debut in the dual-surface discipline in the FIA RX2e Championship in Catalunya just over a week ago.

Heidfeld might have 13 grand prix podium finishes, eight more in Formula E and a Le Mans class victory on his impressive career résumé, but rallycross represented an entirely new challenge for the German – one that he admitted he initially underestimated.

Be that as it may, he assiduously knuckled down to the task at hand and gradually hauled himself into the mix – and while acknowledging that consistency is something he still needs to work on, by heat two, he was all-but matching some of the quickest drivers for single-lap speed.

By the progression stage, Heidfeld was able to hang onto the coat-tails of his much more experienced adversaries, and in the semi-final, he briefly ran as high as second as the joker strategies played out – not giving away a great deal to champion-elect Viktor Vranckx ahead of him.

While the final results sheet might say that the 45-year-old placed tenth overall, that is to do a great disservice to his performance – and it has certainly given him food for thought as he considers the future...

“It was a huge challenge,” he candidly reflected. “There are some things that become like reflexes from 35 years of racing in other series, but which don’t work in rallycross. I knew what I needed to do, but then when the situation came, I didn’t do it! I need to change something in my brain to react automatically rather than having to think about it – because the one thing you certainly don’t have in rallycross is time to think!

“That said, I was pleased with the weekend overall. I felt I improved throughout and the other drivers were very helpful – which probably means I’m still not quite quick enough to threaten them! I was starting to get into the game towards the end and keep pace with them and my consistency was better on the second day, but it’s so tight that you need those last couple of tenths to really fight.

“I’m also obviously a big fan of electric racing. The transition to alternative energies is happening globally, and of course it’s important that the leading motorsport championships set an example. I think it shows to the world that it the technology is readily there and that it can be exciting, too. Being very serious, I would definitely like to do some more – and it goes without saying that I would love to try out a World RX car should the opportunity arise...”