Available-for-hire driver Nick Heidfeld has ruled out returning to a “slow team” in order to stay on the 2011 F1 grid.
The German – who spent much of the year as Mercedes GP’s little-used test driver – will lose his Sauber seat after the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and is currently without a contract for next season.
The Grand Prix veteran – who made his F1 debut with Prost in 2000 – sits second on the all-time list behind Andrea de Cesaris for the most race starts without a win, and holds hopes of a possible vacancy coming his way at either Renault or Force India next season.
Heidfeld had previously managed to resurrect his career in the 2004 season driving for Force India’s former guise, Jordan, and a series of heroic drives in what was a rather ordinary car proved enough to get him snaffled up by Williams for the 2005 season.
But ‘Quick Nick’ has ruled out repeating that, and maintains that he only wants to be on the grid if there’s a competitive race seat available.
“Yes, there have been talks for a long time. And it looks good,” he told Switzerland’s Blick newspaper.
Adding that he is “not mentioning names” – although no doubt referring to Lotus, Virgin and HRT – he confirmed: “I am definitely got going to go to a slow team in 2011.”
[Original images via Sutton Images]