By Michael Oellers
As far as Nick and the whole of the BMW Sauber team were concerned, the 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix was a race to forget. Following a collision at the start, Nick and team-mate Robert Kubica found themselves trailing the rest of the field, and that's where they stayed for the rest of the race. Despite this, Nick was able to equal a record that most people thought multiple world champion Michael Schumacher would keep for ever.
Between 2001 and 2003, Schumacher managed to cross the finish line in 24 successive races – a unique achievement. But now, Nick has matched it. Bahrain was the 24th GP race in succession that Nick has seen the chequered flag. "I find race statistics fascinating, but the one that interests me most is the points score,” Nick commented ruefully after the Bahrain GP. His last retirement was in the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji where he had to park his F1.07 with an engine failure just a few laps before the end.
Assuming he doesn't have to retire in Barcelona, he will then become the sole record holder in this category and so write his name in the annals of Formula One as 'Mister Reliable'. At the same time, he will also extend his other record for number of races in which officially placed to 32.
Over the next few weeks, you will be able to see the highlights from these races on www.nickheidfeld.com in words and pictures.