Heidfeld held out for a competitive race seat in the wake of BMW’s surprise withdrawal from F1 at the end of 2009, but the Grand Prix veteran found himself without a drive, and was signed up by Mercedes GP just days before its 2010 launch.
The German has been a regular in the Mercedes GP pit and paddock area at all Grands Prix as the team’s reserve driver, but admitted that he is unlikely to graduate to a race seat with the team in 2011, all but confirming that the line-up of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher will remain.
While admitting that his current job comes with plenty of perks, Heidfeld admitted ti Servus TV: “That’s not the problem. The problem is when I see [my former F1 rivals] driving and not me.
“But I am quite clear with my motivation and I know that the prospects for the future are quite good.”
However, Heidfeld admitted that any return to the racing environment would necessitate having to leave Mercedes GP.
“In the near future it will not be possible to be a race driver [with Mercedes GP] so I am having to look elsewhere,” he added, and also admitted that he is not yet close to securing any deal.
“We are in talks with almost all the teams that have a cockpit for next year open. I was a bit surprised this year how early the top seats were confirmed so now we’re having to look at what is still available.”
Heidfeld is among many drivers, including Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen, to be linked with the potentially available seat alongside Robert Kubica at Renault next year, with the French outfit yet to confirm if it will re-sign Vitaly Petrov for another year.
The 33-year-old was spotted paying a visit to the team’s motorhome at the German Grand Prix (pictured).
[Original images via AUTOSPORT]