Nick Heidfeld has been released by Mercedes GP to become Pirelli's test driver Mercedes GP might not announce a replacement for its departed reserve driver, Nick Heidfeld, who has left the team to become Pirelli’s official tyre tester in the lead-up to its return to Formula 1.

Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper has reported that the team has no immediate plans to replace the veteran of 167 Grands Prix.

The appointment of a reserve driver is not mandated in the regulations, and it is therefore believed that the team will nominate a reserve driver on a race-by-race basis.

Perhaps one such candidate could be Formula 2 champion Andy Soucek, who recently left his reserve driver role with the Virgin Racing Team.

As for Heidfeld, he kicked off his maiden outing as Pirelli’s main man overnight, with the opening day’s testing at the Mugello circuit. The dark-helmeted Heidfeld drove a white Toyota TF109 with minimal Pirelli signage and unbranded tyres.

Details and images from the event are yet to be made available.

[Original image via Auto Week]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.