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Why Di Resta and Heidfeld can’t make up
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Photo: Force India
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Jul 2011   |  2:41 pm GMT  |  35 comments

It’s been a rainy afternoon in Budapest, dodging in and out of motorhomes visting drivers at their press briefings.

There has not been a great deal of cheerfulness so far, apart from the two Sauber drivers, who have every reason to smile having confirmed their seats for 2012.

One story hanging over from the Nurburgring was the collision of Paul Di Resta and Nick Heidfeld. There are some drivers who seem to keep finding each other on the race track this season; one thinks of Schumacher and Petrov, and Schumacher and Alguersuari for example, but Heidfeld and Di Resta keep hitting each other and it’s not helping either of their results.

Both are under a little bit of pressure to get results, Heiedfeld probably more than Di Resta because his position is less secure.

Di Resta is a rookie and the key thing for him is that he has shown in his qualifying performances that he has great speed. That is essential for survival in F1. The race craft and keeping out of trouble should come with more experience.

I spoke to both this afternoon and neither of them wants to say sorry. Di Resta doesn’t feel he needs to, while Heidfeld accepts that the stewards penalised him for the collision at the start which wrecked Di Resta’s race – on a day when the other Force India driver was able to finish sixth – but says that he’s not going to apologise.

“I depends where you qualify and they are around our part of the grid,” said Di Resta. “The thing in Canada never cost him anything and then he ran into the back of me and took me out of the race (in Germany).”

Did he apologise?
“No.”

Has he spoken to you at all?
“No”

Does that disappoint you?
“Yes because it was pretty blatant. He was the one who committed the crime.”

Asked if he makes a practice of apologising for causing an incident, he said, “You’ve got to haven’t you? You’ve got to go up to them. Whether they accept it or not is another thing. At least if you make the effort.”

Soon after Heidfeld was answering the same questions.”People thought that he crashed into the back of my car (in Canada) and instead of apologising he blamed me. So why should I go and apologise. It’s just racing, life goes on.”

As for Germany, “I think it was a racing incident. I’m okay with them penalising me.”

There have been more incidents between drivers than in the past, largely because the DRS wing and Pirelli tyres are there to encourage overtaking, so more drivers are trying moves and pro-rata that is bound to lead to lead to more collisions.

It all adds to the spectacle.

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35 Comments
  1. rvd says:

    Probably next year Heidfeld will be gone and Di resta won’t.

  2. I think they should settle the matter by wrestling in jelly

    1. Mark says:

      I’ll second that Jake.

      Maybe JA could run a poll on whether it should be settled by Jelly Wrestling?

  3. goferet says:

    No doubt, Germans are cool. They got that stiff upper lip and all of that besides apologizing makes one look weak.

    Personally I think revenge is the way to go once you have been wronged so says Aryton Senna

  4. Baj says:

    Nice to see such maturity from the young Scot. I think he has impressed a lot this season in more ways than just his speed. The arm of Anthony hamilton around him is obviously a good influence.

    I think nick needs to remember that he’s still only filling in for kubica and if he wants to find a perm seat for next season he’s going to have to show a little more respect around the paddock

    1. Michael says:

      Why is publicly demanding an apology a mature thing? I agree with many others posters below that DiResta needs to grow up a little. It was a racing incident, Nick did not intentionally harm DiResta. End of story.

      And Nick having a seat in F1 has little to do with respect. He needs points and hopefully podiums.

      1. Peter C says:

        He is not demanding a public apology. The question was….’Has he apologised to you? No.’

        Why SHOULD any of this be public? What usually happens, as DiResta said, is that one driver finds the other, in the paddock & apologises or not as the case may be.

        There should be nothing public about it – except in the mind of some fans, who demand to know everything in a drivers existance, including toilet breaks.
        To some ‘fans’ I’d say….Get a life.

      2. Michael says:

        Re-read my post carefully. There’s a big difference between a *public demand* (what I said) and a *public apology* (what you said). DiResta did in fact use a blatantly public forum to say what he said.

        And don’t blame the fans. They didn’t make DiResta say it. He could have said “racing incident” and moved on. Perhaps then James wouldn’t have written this article and you and I wouldn’t be engaged in this discussion.

  5. Dino says:

    The race coverage of this was practically zero, but I found this fan video on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cNcq0vYQ5c

    You can clearly see Di Resta on the outside (and about a car length ahead) going into turn three, with Heidfeld on the inside just behind a Williams. Heidfeld locks up and collects Di Resta who is turning-in. The touch spins Di Resta and Heidfeld appears to lose the back end and slides sideways to a halt in the middle of the track, face to face with a backwards-facing Di Resta, who waits for the traffic then drives round Heidfeld and back onto the track.

    1. Nigel says:

      Fantastic camera angle to see how far Hamilton gets ahead of Webber going into turn 1.

    2. Great footage! Clearly Di Resta not at fault.

  6. Sebee says:

    Suck it up boys. It’s not like you have to pay for the costs you’ve added to your teams.

    As for Heidfeld – I don’t want to blame him, but the guy is senior enough to know that he got a last minute save here, to a team that’s Renault in name only. A team that from the outside doesn’t seem to have the budget to absorb these crashes. You keep this up Heidfeld and you’ll either be out of a ride, or they’ll start putting start of the season/old version components on your car to save money.

    1. I’d tend to agree with you. Heidfeld probably didn’t mean to lose control.

      Di Resta should tough it up on that one and let go. All this negative energy won’t do him any good.

  7. granada says:

    Well IMO Heidfeld has never been keen o apologising (he did sometimes though).

  8. rpaco (other rpaco) says:

    Speak to Jackie Stewart or Stirling Moss and they will tell you that they had more respect for each other in their day because any crash was likely to hurt a lot, or be fatal. There was real danger and that’s why they raced.

    Nowadays usually if they go off, they rarely get hurt except in the pride department. There is less respect for each other. Similarly there is little deference to a high profile driver; Senna and Schumacher threatened, it you did not move over you would crash and since the likely outcome was you being out of action for several weeks or months it was prudent to get out of the way, thus the bullies won, there can be no doubt that both those mentioned were bullies on the track when the stakes were higher physically, but now intimidation does not work on track.

    I would guess that F1 is now far safer than uk motorway driving.

  9. fergal says:

    di riesta needs to grow up a little here!!!
    its not the playground…while im not nicks biggest fan he cant be accused of being dirty or shabby.
    how many wings has di riesta lost this year so far???

    he needs to settle in before pontificating!!

    1. DM says:

      You could at least get his name right. It has been provided several times.

      1. F1_Badger says:

        Childish response.

        they both just need to move on. Endex

  10. Mario Senna says:

    Di Resta is proving to be more of a rookie off the track rather than on the track! Even though he’s right here and while I understand that he is answering a specific question, clearly he is wasting too much time and thoughts philosophizing about it….

    1. jeff says:

      So perhaps he should have refused to answer the journalist’s question?

      1. That’s exactly Mario Senna’s point. Di Resta has yet to answer journo questions without souding bitter.

        I’m sure he’ll progress with experience in this regard.

  11. Casimir says:

    Both drivers have been placed in an awkward position by being confronted with the issue of ‘apologising’. All I can conclude is that it must be an incredibly slow day with respect to newsworthy articles, because this incident was an absolute NON EVENT.

    Formula 1 is not a charitable association and I’m fairly certain that none of the drivers are ever willing to publicly announce they have made a mistake, or to apologise for any reason.

    Nick’s error was hardly a ‘crime’; he locked his brakes, and from then on you’re a passenger. The last few races Sutil has begun to creep up and outpace Di Resta and I think his response is indicative of a man under pressure.

    Heidfeld as most of us know, is under enough pressure as it is, and I doubt he wants any more attention than he is currently receiving so he is obviously being dismissive of the situation.

  12. San K says:

    Nick locked up – these things happen…I dont think for a moment that Nick wanted to lock up and plough into DiResta – Paul should know this!

    Paul is speaking as if Nick did it on purpose.
    I think Paul needs to sort his head out.
    He has already come to this GP with anger & frustration from the last and I wouldve thought by now that he is more mature then that – Definately a big weakness exposed by paul.

    It shouldnt matter to paul whether he gets an apology or not – he should be more focussed on putting right the wrongs. HE needs to remember that he too has been quite silly in terms of making mistakes and has replicated himself as a bit of a crash kid in the last few races.

    In monaco he made the same move as Lewis – infact Lewis had more of a reason to make the move on massa as massa left the door wide open but then shut very early – whereas for paul there was no open door in the 1st place.
    But I remember even to this day Lewis being blasted for it when it was clearly massa who played it abit dirty.

    James, I agree that he should be given a little break for his rookie season and he will learn to mature as the experience levels increase – BUT its a big pity many didnt give Lewis Hamilton the same thoughts in his rookie season…instead people to this day still blast Lewis for not winning the championship in his 1st ever f1 season – which was is really really unfair.

    I see in Formula 1 that some drivers will be wrapped up in cotton-wool by the media & be excused and then theres the odd one who gets ripped to shreds everytime he sneezes.

    What a shame.

    -BTW..james…just for the record this is not a dig at you :)

  13. Mario says:

    Never apologize!

    I was doing some karting the other day and was shoved out of the way ruthlessly great number of times. You can’t use your elbows you lose.

    The only thing the guys had on their minds was ‘I want that line because that’s the fastest way around the track’. It was part of the game, good fun, no one thought about apologizing for anything.

    Why apologize anyway? You’ve done what you’ve done and that’s it. It is not about making friends, it’s racing.

    1. Bevan says:

      IMO its Heidfeld that needs to apologize eh,”what the hell was he doing in there,Di Resta had the upper hand,even if Heidfeld had been front wheel to wheel(which he wasn’t by more than half a car) Di Resta had the commanding inside line”.
      A seasoned racer with a tad of skill would have hit the brake pedal hard 2 sec before Heidfeld reacted & waited for a better opportunity,its called patience.
      Senna looked good in that car Friday afternoon though.Fingers crossed eh.

  14. kezzaf1 says:

    come on, i think Di Resta are showing signs of weakness of being too hotheaded and needed signs of maturity, maybe now Sutil is back on form the pressure is starting to get to Di Resta?

  15. PNWBrit says:

    Nick should concentWate on getting his DTM drive sorted for next season.

  16. Johnny Talia says:

    This is apparently an example of what Eric Boullier was referring to when he lamented that Heidfeld lacked “leaderhip skills”.

    DiResta’s view: “If I affect your race in a negative way by contacting your car, I should apologise.”

    Heidfeld’s view: “We were racing. I hit you unintentionally. These things happen. Get over it.”

  17. Michael says:

    Honestly I think Paul should calm down a bit, its clear to see the inner drive of this young man but he could soon get the reputation of a constant complainer. I thought his comments on finding it difficult to deal with the friday 3rd driver practice situation at force india a little bemusing considering he himself used the program to make his way into F1 last year.

  18. drums says:

    “There are some drivers who seem to keep finding each other on the race track this season; one thinks of Schumacher and Petrov, and Schumacher and Alguersuari for example.”

    Yup, Schumi and Jaime are frequently drawing up alongside each other this season. That little battle usually keeps hidden behind more glamorous others within the pack.

  19. Ginger says:

    Not a fan of people wanting or expecting an apology. If it isn’t forthcoming then move on and pop it in your back pocket.

    Look at the history of Lewis and Mark, cuts both ways many times.

  20. Trent says:

    “There have been more incidents between drivers than in the past, largely because the DRS wing and Pirelli tyres are there to encourage overtaking”

    I’d perhaps contradict that, with the greatest of respect. I’m amazed how few incidents there have been, relative to the vast amount of overtaking. This leads me to think that because overtaking really IS possible now, kamikaze moves aren’t necessary.

  21. quest says:

    Did Di Resta apologize for causing the collision in Canada. Doesnt seem like it. He seems to be rationalizing it by saying that it didnt cost Heidfeld. In fact he even tried to blame the collision on Heidfeld even though he was penalized for the incident. Atleast Heidfeld is honest enough to accept he was at fault here.

  22. Darren says:

    I think the pressure is mounting on Heidfeld. Boullier is piling on the pressure.

    Nick has a good record for bringing the car home but he’s feeling the need to take risks and he’s making mistakes.

    It’s shame. I’ve laways liked Nick and tought he probably deserved a shot at a really good seat a few years back.

    This is looking like his swansong though.

    1. Josh says:

      He’s taking risks because results only matter when you fluke a win. If Hamilton didn’t take out Raikkonen in Canada 2008, Kubica wouldn’t be a race winner.

      Nick is a fast driver, he’s strong on development and Reanault have made him the scapegoat for their poor season. Is Kubica two seconds a lap quicker? Half a second a lap even? Nope.

      Nick is being screwed by Renault. And he’s having to take risks and unfortunately made a mistake in hitting di Resta. Big deal.

      Hamilton has made his career out of hitting other cars…

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