Confirming what we had all suspected for weeks, Nick Heidfeld has formally been confirmed by Mercedes GP as their reserve driver.
The German veteran with 12 podium finishes – who had hopes of being retained by Sauber after its takeover of BMW stake in the team, or to have driver for Mercedes GP or Renault – has at last had his future concerned, even if it’s not his preferred role.
"I am very pleased to be joining Mercedes GP," commented Heidfeld, who has finished on the podium 12 times.
"It’s the team which has attracted the most interest in the close season, not only because of the comeback of Michael Schumacher but also because this season sees the return of the silver arrows cars as a Mercedes-Benz works team for the first time in over fifty years.
"Whilst I would of course have preferred a seat as an active driver, I am really proud to be part of the new silver arrows team. I have seen how committed everyone at the team is and I feel the same. I will be doing my very best to support Michael [Schumacher] and Nico [Rosberg] this year."
After dominating the 1999 Formula 3000 season, Heidfeld graduated to F1 with Prost, and his 10-year F1 career has been blighted by missed opportunities and bad luck. We had previously speculated as to the reasons for his paddock reputation as one of F1’s more anonymnous figures, but we’re still pleased he’s found a seat somewhere!
[Image via ITV-F1]