Heidfeld will replace Kubica in testing

BY foxsports • February 9, 2011

Nick Heidfeld will get the opportunity to audition for the role of injured Pole Robert Kubica's replacement at Lotus Renault after the Formula One team confirmed Wednesday that the German will drive for them during this week's four-day test at Jerez in Spain.

Heidfeld, who raced for Sauber towards the end of last season, had been seen as one of the favorites to replace Kubica, who is beginning a lengthy rehabilitation after being seriously injured in a crash during the Ronde di Andora rally on Sunday.

Renault team owner Gerard Lopez had hinted earlier on Wednesday that Heidfeld or former Force India driver Vitantonio Liuzzi would drive for the team at Jerez, and 33-year-old Heidfeld has been given the nod to drive the R31 on Saturday and Sunday, Sky Sports reported.

Heidfeld, 33, has been in the sport since racing for Prost in 2000, going on to have spells with Sauber, Jordan, Williams and BMW Sauber and racking up 172 starts.

Kubica is likely to miss the whole of the 2011 season after partially severing his right hand and suffering breaks to his elbow, shoulder and leg in the accident.

He has since undergone a seven-hour operation to re-attach his partially severed hand and was kept in an induced coma following the procedure.

The surgery to repair Kubica's hand was hailed a success by specialist Igor Rossello.

"The operation was perfectly successful," he told Sky Italia.

"It's a great result because the operation was long and very complex."

Kubica, who took his only F1 win to date in Canada in 2008, will undergo further surgery on his leg and shoulder on Friday.

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