Lopez: We needed to test drivers other than Heidfeld

Nick Heidfeld’s response to the appointment of Bruno Senna in Belgium and beyond “surprised” Renault team owner Gerard Lopez.

German Heidfeld attempted to win a court injunction prior to Spa-Francorchamps to enforce his contract to race in Robert Kubica’s cockpit this year until the Pole is ready to return.

The judge ruled that Senna be allowed to race for the next two races before a full High Court hearing can take place after the Italian grand prix next month.

Heidfeld, 34, then appeared in the Spa paddock last weekend in order to be able to show the judge that he never breached his side of the contract.

“I was surprised,” Genii chairman Lopez told the Tageblatt Luxembourg newspaper. “I would say it is an emotional reaction.”

Lopez however defended Renault’s decision to replace Heidfeld with Senna.

“His performance was not right so we need to test other drivers,” he insisted. “Nick has always been a good colleague but we told him that we had not from him what we had expected.

“He was always treated with respect and that will continue, because he is still a member of the team,” added Lopez.

Source: GMM

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