Nick Heidfeld will test Renault’s new R31 car at Jerez this week.
It had been speculated that the 33-year-old German, who had yet to secure a role in F1 for the 2011 season, was a leading contender to replace his injured former BMW teammate Robert Kubica.
With Pole Kubica in an Italian hospital with multiple injuries following a rally crash, another change to Renault’s Jerez test schedule is that reserve driver Bruno Senna will be testing this week.
Vitaly Petrov will drive on Thursday and Friday, before Heidfeld and Senna get mileage on the next two days.
“The exact running order for the weekend will be confirmed on Friday evening,” said the Lotus-sponsored team in a statement.
Renault clarified that Heidfeld, with more than 170 grands prix under his belt but no wins, has not yet been definitely appointed as Kubica’s substitute.
Instead, the team said it will “evaluate Nick Heidfeld, who is a potential replacement for Robert Kubica as a race driver”.
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