Nick Heidfeld’s place at Lotus Renault GP appears increasingly under threat as team test drivers Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean eye a move into his race drive.
The 34-year-old was a last minute replacement for the injured Robert Kubica prior to the start of the 2011 season, and currently sits eighth in the points standings.
While Heidfeld has scored two more points than team-mate Vitaly Petrov across the first 10 races of the season, it is understood that his drive with the squad is currently under review.
Senna and Grosjean both have previous Formula One race experience, with the Brazilian completing 18 races last year for Hispania, and Grosjean making seven appearances for Renault at the end of 2009.
Grosjean currently holds a commanding 18 point lead in the GP2 Series. The feeder category’s season concludes at Monza in September – leaving the Frenchman free to contest the last five Grands Prix.
Renault has announced that Senna will complete Practice 1 this weekend in Hungary in place of Heidfeld, with team principal Eric Boullier keen to give the nephew of the late Ayrton Senna experience in the car on race weekends.
“We feel now is the right time to give Bruno a chance to drive for us during a Free Practice session. Although he’s done some mileage with our R29 and R31 already this year, driving in a Friday session will provide him invaluable experience with the R31 during a race weekend,” said Boullier.
“It will also give us with a chance to see how Bruno adapts to driving during a competitive practice session. As of Free Practice 2, Nick will return to the car for the remainder of the weekend alongside Vitaly.”
Meanwhile, Robert Kubica continues to recover from his injuries – recently telling the media that he fully intends on returning to the team next season.