Heidfeld and Renault officially split

UPDATE (GMM) An out of court settlement between the team and axed driver Nick Heidfeld has cleared the way for Renault to sign Bruno Senna for the rest of 2011.

A media statement said German Heidfeld, who had hoped to return to the R31 in Singapore after a London High Court hearing, has reached "an amicable settlement" with Renault.

The 34-year-old and the team have therefore "chosen to part company with immediate effect", with Renault boss Eric Boullier describing it a "swift and reasonable solution".

"Our separation process was already a painful one, and neither of us wanted to go through another legal hearing," added the Frenchman.

Renault promptly confirmed Brazilian Senna as Vitaly Petrov's new regular teammate for the remainder of 2011, with new GP2 champion Romain Grosjean as the reserve.

09/02/11 Nick Heidfeld and Lotus Renault GP have officially split ahead of this season’s final eight races, with both parties agreeing an ‘amicable settlement’ on Friday afternoon. The German was due to take legal action after Bruno Senna replaced him in Belgium last weekend, but has now decided to move on and focus on his future.

"Obviously I’m disappointed to be leaving Lotus Renault GP in the middle of the season," Heidfeld explained. “I thought I could still make a big contribution to the team, but I have to see things as they are and I want to turn my attention to the future.

"We have taken the right decision by choosing to end our collaboration today. I would like to wish all the friends I made at Enstone a successful end to the season. One thing is for sure – I’ll be back racing at the highest level soon."

Renault Team Principal Eric Boullier added that he is extremely grateful for Heidfeld's services in 2011, describing his contribution as ‘highly valuable’.

"Our disagreement with Nick has been the subject of much media coverage lately, and we are pleased to have reached a swift and reasonable solution," he said. "Our separation process was already a painful one, and neither of us wanted to go through another legal hearing.

"We’re very grateful to Nick for the highly valuable contribution he’s made to the team. We certainly had good times together, in particular remembering our podium finish in Malaysia. He is a very strong and determined racer and we wish him every success in the future."

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