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Renault and Heidfeld agree to separation 02 Sep 2011

Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Thursday, 25 August 2011 (L to R): Eric Boullier (FRA) Lotus Renault GP Team Principal celebrates with third placed Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 10 April 2011 Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 30 July 2011

Renault and former driver Nick Heidfeld have reached an amicable settlement and chosen to part company with immediate effect, it was announced on Friday. It follows the team’s decision to drop Heidfeld in favour of Bruno Senna ahead of last month’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Heidfeld, who was drafted in by Renault at the start of 2011 as stand-in for the injured Robert Kubica, was sidelined after the team said he had failed to display the leadership qualities they had expected. He has now abandoned plans to contest the move in the High Court.

“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, Renault 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 commented: “Obviously I’m disappointed to be leaving Lotus Renault GP in the middle of the season. 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.”

Senna will now retain his Renault race seat alongside Vitaly Petrov for the remainder of the 2011 season, with newly-crowned GP2 champion Romain Grosjean as the team's reserve driver.