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Heidfeld takes blame for practice crash

Valencia, Saturday: BMW’s Nick Heidfeld has this morning accepted that he was responsible for the collision with Fernando Alonso in yesterday’s practice session for the European Grand Prix at Valencia.

Guilty: BMW driver Nick Heidfeld

Guilty: BMW driver Nick Heidfeld

The pair collided at the final corner of the street circuit after Alonso appeared to run up the inside of the BMW; they were summoned to see the stewards after the incident, who concluded that both parties were equally to blame.

However, Heidfeld has today confessed that the blame lies with him, explaining that Alonso was correct to believe that he was pulling into the pits and then decided, at the last minute, to stay out on the track.

“I had just completed a normal run and was heading back to the pits for the team to check the car over,” the German told reporters this morning. “So I pulled over to the right-hand side of the track as you would normally do to go into the pit entrance.

“But then the team came over the radio and told me that Luca Badoer was about to come out of his garage onto the pit lane. I didn’t want to get involved in a collision with him, so I decided to stay out. Unfortunately it meant that Fernando hit me instead.”

Badoer, Ferrari’s substitute race driver, was fined four times yesterday for speeding in the pit lane, and Heidfeld’s comments reveal that other drivers were concerned about his driving being potentially dangerous. “No one wants to get rear-ended in the pits,” Heidfeld pointed out. “That’s why we all steer well clear of Lewis these days.”

Alonso, however, was unsympathetic to the plight of the German: “Typical BMW driver,” the Spaniard fumed, in a manner eerily reminiscent of some low-quality BBC television programme or other. “Never uses his bloody indicators.”

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