Mercedes motorsport director Norbert Haug reacted with caution on Tuesday to speculation that Nick Heidfeld is in the frame to take over as test and replacement driver for the new Mercedes Grand Prix team in the 2010 Formula One season.
“There has only been basic contact with Nick, which is what I have had for several years,” Mr. Haug told German Press Agency dpa.
“We did talk to Nick about possibilities with Mercedes Grand Prix as well as McLaren-Mercedes.” However, Haug added that no agreement had been reached with the 32-year-old German, who completed his first test drive for McLaren-Mercedes in 1997 before going on to win the Formula 3000 title with the Mercedes Junior team in 1999.
Meanwhile Heidfeld, who drove for BMW-Sauber in 2009 before the German carmaker announced its withdrawal from F1 and is still without a team for next season, said he was hopeful that he could announce “something concrete” about his future plans in the coming weeks.
“I am not being naive, considering the events of recent weeks, when I say that a lot of unexpected things can happen in Formula One,” Heidfeld said on his webpage.
Mercedes GP has already announced the returning Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg as its main drivers for the 2010 season while McLaren have an all-British pairing in the form of world champion Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
The 2010 season starts on March 14 with the Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir.