Pirelli is expected to announce a replacement for the Sauber-bound Nick Heidfeld this week.

Nick Heidfeld has been Pirelli's tyre tester The German has fulfilled the role of the tyre manufacturer’s development tester in recent weeks as part of the outfit’s build-up to its return to F1 competition, but the 33-year-old has been appointed as the replacement for Pedro de la Rosa at the Sauber squad for the remainder of the season.

There had been some conflicting reports that Heidfeld would remain in the tyre testing role with Pirelli while dovetailing at Sauber, which would raise serious concerns about a conflict of interest.

However, a Pirelli spokesperson has announced than an “official communication” about the role would be made “in the next days”.

With Heidfeld’s role at Sauber commencing on Friday, the German’s final outing for Pirelli is occurring right now at Jerez, where he continues to drive in a 2009 Toyota F1 car equipped with Pirelli’s prospective rubber.

Pedro de la Rosa has logically been tipped as Heidfeld’s successor, but Pirelli has remained tight-lipped about these rumours, adding: “We haven’t commented about this and we will keep on doing it that way.”

[Original image via Pirelli]

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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.