Dramatic fire forces Heidfeld retirement
31 July 2011 – Lotus Renault GP's Nick Heidfeld made a dramatic retirement from this afternoon’s rain-hit Hungarian Grand Prix, pulling off the circuit with a large fire on Lap 25. Flames engulfed his R31 after making a planned visit to the pit lane, leading the German to jump out of his stricken car just moments before a small explosion in the left sidepod.
"We wanted to stop early because we were quicker than the cars ahead," Heidfeld told reporters after his premature retirement. "The pit-stop took longer than it should have and that’s probably why something overheated.
"I was a bit (scared), this one got quite close whereas with the fire I had in Barcelona I didn’t feel any heat. There was a small explosion on the left, I’ve never seen anything like that before."
- The Renault fire can be viewed at GPUpdate TV
Heidfeld’s fire caused by overheating exhausts