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GP Week : Issue 120
Renault’s Nick Heidfeld was on-course for a much-needed strong result at the wheel of his R31 in Canada at the weekend, until a frightening accident brought an end to his participation with just 15 laps to go. Heidfeld’s front wing had worked loose on the run-down to turn 3, pitching him into the air and down an escape road. Thankfully he slid to a gentle stop, just about avoiding a high-speed shunt similar to Sergio Perez’s in Monaco. Heidfeld had damaged his wing off Kobayashi’s Sauber at the previous corner, after Kobayashi had run slightly onto the wet track. As the downforce built on the front wing as Heidfeld picked up speed, the damaged supports were no longer able to support it and dislodged itself. Although Heidfeld was unscathed in the accident, he was disappointed to have missed out on points. “Naturally, the main disappointment for me is that I didn’t finish the race. I was behind Kamui and then something happened. He slowed down suddenly and I hit the back of him, which resulted in my front wing coming off and me going off the track,” Heidfeld explained. “I was on track for fifth and some good points, so it’s frustrating that more did not come from today after a decent qualifying session yesterday. “ Today was one of those unpredictable races and I just had to drive as well as I could in the circumstance. “ We will now look forward to Valencia where I hope to get some more points for the team.” The Canadian Grand Prix stewards had a busy day in Montreal on Sunday after an action-packed race left many incidents to be investigated. Along with a number of mid-race investigations, stewards also had to hold a number of post-race enquiries, including two involving race winner Jenson Button. Button was called in front of the stewards to explain his part in the incidents with Hamilton on lap 7 and Alonso on lap 37, both of which led to the retirement of his rival. After reviewing video and other evidence and speaking to the drivers in question, the stewards decided that both incidents were mere racing accidents, and Button escaped without penalty. During the race the stewards handed out four drive-through penalties to Button (speeding behind the safety car), d’Ambrosio (pitting for intermediates before the safety car had pitted after the restart), Sutil (overtaking behind the safety car) and di Resta (causing an avoidable collision with Heidfeld), before giving Narain Karthikeyan a 20-second penalty directly after the race for jumping the chicane and gaining an advantage. The stewards also held investigations into Hamilton’s contact with Webber at turn 1 after the first safety car period and of Sutil’s contact with Rosberg at the hairpin under the safety car on lap 42, but on both occasions deemed them to be racing incidents and didn’t impose penalties. Stewards on overtime ... Wing damage costs Heidfeld 28