Senna to replace Heidfeld UPDATE #4 (GMM) 24 hours before the drivers file into the Spa-Francorchamps paddock, there is no confirmation about Nick Heidfeld's apparent loss of his Renault race seat.
Multiple media sources are unofficially confirming Heidfeld's former boss Eddie Jordan's claim this week that Bruno Senna will be in the black R31 alongside Vitaly Petrov this weekend in Belgium and possibly beyond.
Germany's Bild newspaper said Renault is not denying the story.
"We do not want to comment on speculation," a spokesperson is quoted as saying.
And Auto Motor und Sport said 34-year-old Heidfeld's management is also not commenting.
Finland's Turun Sanomat said the situation is complicated, with Renault apparently already behind in its scheduled payments to the German driver.
The newspaper also said Renault is unable to drop Heidfeld without compensating him, with his contract to replace Robert Kubica in 2011 "skillfully" negotiated by his manager.
It is also reported that Senna will only be given the official green light when his Brazilian sponsors sign on the dotted line.
And with the Genii-linked Romain Grosjean rumored to be in line for the seat once he has wrapped up the GP2 title, Turun Sanomat said those sponsors "are not so eager to put up money for only two grands prix".
08/23/11 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today as AR1.com has learned that Senna is racing this weekend in place of Heidfeld.
08/23/11 (GMM) Nick Heidfeld will not be racing this weekend in Belgium and is unlikely to return to the Renault cockpit.
That was the claim on Monday of the German's 2004 team boss Eddie Jordan, who is now an expert pundit for British television the BBC's television coverage.
Earlier this week, the Irishman said he considered the recent criticism of 34-year-old Heidfeld's performances this year by Renault bosses as "bullying".
He wrote in a BBC column on Monday that Heidfeld "has been dropped by the Renault team in favor of Brazilian Bruno Senna for this weekend's Belgian grand prix".
Jordan said the move will save Renault money because reserve driver Senna, who is also "expected to race for Renault in the eight remaining races this season, has "several million pounds of sponsorship".
27-year-old Senna raced most recently in the Abu Dhabi finale last year, at the end of his rookie season with the struggling Hispania team.
He has been Renault's reserve driver in 2011, and in Hungary last month replaced Heidfeld in Friday morning practice.08/22/11 Autosport now has a story/rumor which says the same thing our sources were saying so we are bumping this rumor up to 'strong' - Nick Heidfeld's future with the Renault team is in doubt, amid speculation that the outfit is looking at slotting in Bruno Senna from this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.
On the back of a campaign that has not lived up to pre-season expectations, and with the team having admitted that it expected more from Heidfeld, it is believed that moves have been underway over the last few days to shake up the driver line-up.
Although Renault declined to comment on the Heidfeld/Senna situation when contacted on Monday night, it is understood that the team has actively been looking at promoting Senna to a race seat from this weekend's event at Spa-Francorchamps, having given him a Friday run in Hungary.
08/22/11 There is a strong rumor going around that Nick Heidfeld has been dropped for Spa in favor of Bruno Senna. We rate it as pure speculation for now.