Just one race after the Swiss squad secured his services in place of Pedro de la Rosa for the remainder of the season, the team announced that it had signed GP2 driver Sergio Pérez for the 2011 season, supported by a hefty sponsorship investment from Pérez’s Mexican homeland.
While a clear blow to the veteran’s prospects of staying on the grid with more and more seats filling up, Heidfeld’s manager, Andre Theuerzeit, remains confident that his charge can secure a full-time berth for next season.
“There are still cockpits available in formula one for next season,” he told SID, while adding that Heidfeld was “not unprepared” for the news confirming Pérez’s appointment.
“At the moment we are in negotiations and we are confident there will be a positive outcome,” he added.
Heidfeld’s most competitive prospect looks to be the possibly vacant second seat at Renault alongside Heidfeld’s former BMW Sauber team-mate Robert Kubica, with a potentially attractive prospect to team bosses scouting for replacement drivers being the German’s advanced knowledge of Pirelli’s 2011 tyres.
However, Renault team principal Eric Boullier has dismissed the know-how Heidfeld might bring to a team looking to have a headstart on its rivals.
“That Nick Heidfeld should be first choice?,” he said in an interview with Formula1.com.
“Because he sits on important information and would without doubt give them to his new team? I think that Pirelli will inform all the teams in due course,” he added.