Heidfeld running out of options

The news that BMW Sauber has chosen Pedro de la Rosa to partner Kamui Kobayashi this year is another blow for Nick Heidfeld.

His options for which team to drive for in 2010 are increasingly restricted to teams that performed poorly in 2010, or ones that weren’t on the grid at all.

He had previously been tipped for the second seat at Mercedes, which went to Michael Schumacher.

There have been rumours he might take the third driver role at the team but with testing so tightly restricted at the moment it’s unlikely he’d get any running at all during the year unless one of their drivers were injured.

He may consider Renault the strongest option for this year – where he would join fellow BMW refugee Robert Kubica.

The only other team which competed last year and still has a vacancy to fill is Toro Rosso, who are expected to re-sign Jaime Alguersuari alongside Sebastian Buemi.

The remaining driver vacancies for the 2010 season are at Campos (one seat) and USF1 (both seats).

Surely one of these teams would want a driver as experienced and dependable as Heidfeld, who’s kept the highly-rated Kubica honest during their time together?

Pedro de la Rosa joins BMW Sauber

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66 comments on Heidfeld running out of options

  1. Damon said on 19th January 2010, 16:26


    It says here that apparently the Russian Vitaliy Pietrov – who came second in F2 last season (behind Hulkenberg) – is finalizing his deal with Renault.

  2. Xanathos said on 19th January 2010, 16:32

    It’ll be a shame if he doesn’t get the Renault seat because he is clearly the best driver available and better than many drivers who have race seats for next year. If Renault take someone else, then he’ll be out because STR are close to confirming Alguersuari, Campos want a Paydriver. The last option, USF1, is not going to happen. They more or less confirmed that they need a Paydriver as well and Heidfeld is clearly not willing to pay for his seat, at least not for a seat in a new team. Besides that, there’s no future for him at USF1 since they’ll want to hire American drivers once they’ve established themselves.

    So it’ll propably mean third driver at Mercedes combined with racing in the DTM or at Le Mans…

  3. Maciek said on 19th January 2010, 17:52

    I suppose that I’m nationally biased, but I can’t help the feeling that the only reason Heidfeld bettered Kubica last year is that the car was crap – that downed Kubica’s motivation, which, in turn, helped Heidfeld to feel he could seize the chance to outperform his team-mate – which, on points, he only confirmed at the last race of season.

    Anyhoo, nothing against Heidfeld, seems like a solid driver and a nice guy. Ideal would be Renault seat where he could prove, or not, that he’s just as good if not better than Kubica. But the fact that he hasn’t been signed yet does not bode too well.

    • Hallard said on 19th January 2010, 18:00

      That doesnt make any sense. If the car was crap, it was crap for BOTH of them. And if that hindered Kubica’s motivation, whilst spurring Heidfeld on, then that reflects pretty negatively on Kubica.

      • Maciek said on 19th January 2010, 18:45

        Not saying it doesn’t reflect negatively on his ego – just that it’s not a reflection of his talent, necessarily.

        • Hallard said on 19th January 2010, 19:47

          I suppose I can see your point, but I think you are reaching pretty far to justify the slight performance deficit between Kubica and Heidfeld

  4. If he found the money, he would have a seat at RenaultF1 I think…

  5. Lewis said on 19th January 2010, 18:38

    Lets not forget Kubica was at a huge disadvantage with KERS because of his weight. If it wasn’t for that, he would have probably beat Heidfeld. But I have to say, Heidfeld can get the most out of a rubbish car, which the new teams would greatly benefit from.

    • Robert McKay said on 19th January 2010, 21:52

      Yeah but to be fair to Heidfeld he didn’t run KERS for that many races, they soon gave up with it.

      • Cyclops said on 20th January 2010, 12:00

        Still the car was designed from scratch to run with KERS, in expense of aerodynamic development. So Kubica got the aerodynamic crap of a car, without KERS get some extra speed, crappy balance due to his weight and crappy engine. And still he lost to Heidfeld only by 2 points. Yeah, keep telling me that Nick really bested Kubica.

        • Remember the BMW Sauber was re-designed without KERS mid year- if you look at results from Spa onwards you can see how they compare to each other – Robert more highs and lows – Nick more consistent results. In truth Nick had terrible luck in the latter part – the ballast at Singapore put him on the back of the grid, the very slow pit stop at Japan allowed Kimi to jump him (then Nico with his speeding under the yellow flag) and the fuel issue at Brazil. Without this bad luck it is possible Nick could have scored in each race from Spa onwards. On balance Nick was marginally better than Robert in 2009.

          Nick is obviously the only driver that Renault are going to get that has the potential to push Robert. The issue is not about driving skill it is about money.

          • Cyclops said on 21st January 2010, 8:58

            If the rumors from Renault camp are true, Heidfeld demands 5 million per season, if he doesn’t get the money he prefers the reserve seat in MGP. No wonder Sauber didn’t take him. And I will not feel sorry for him, if his greed leaves him without racing seat.

          • I have not heard the rumours about Heidfeld’s salary demand. I would be disappointed if Nick were to be holding out for so much money. Indeed it seems to be higher that what he was earning at BMW Sauber. Nick was the only driver who was publically sympathetic to the idea that F1 drivers should expect salary cuts.

            See http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2009/01/26/heidfeld-argues-for-driver-pay-cuts/

            I do not think there has been interview I have heard where Nick has not expressed sympathy for workers at the Sauber factory and job lay offs.

            This rumour is so out of character for F1’s most level-headed driver.

  6. Given his experience, quality (clearly more than some others already on the 2010 grid) I think any teamboss with half a brain should pick out of the available drivers. I personally really hope that Renault gives him a chance. You might feel like he’s had his shot…but for the last few years i’ve been thinking that of Button and Barrichello, and they proved to still have it (regardless of the quality of their cars).

    If Buemi, Trulli, Kovalainen, Sutil, Liuzzi and De La Rosa deserve to be on the grid, than i’m surprised no one hired Heidfeld yet. It would be a shame if he’s not there. Probably because teambosses need money more than skill.

  7. If F1 is to have the best drivers then should the teams be looking for paying drivers?

    I am struggling to try and remember if any paying driver actually achieved good results. It seems to me what is needed by a new or struggling team is get the drivers who can setup, improve and get the best out of machinery provided. So that the team can climb the ladder and get more money next year. If the teams go with a paying driver who only really provides cash then the team is going to be in the same position, struggling, next season.

  8. Artur said on 20th January 2010, 10:57

    Heidfeld is useless FACT why because he had his chance in all those years in driving in F1 he hasnt done much… yeah he finish a lot of races but really all ask yourself has he really been up their NO he just makes up the numbers just like that horse in a horse race will never win or be competive just finish the race and thats all he does ….Its coming to an end where teams have chosen their drivers now, were teams really interested in NICK Heidfield “NO” hes still with out a team. Mercedes showed interest but really in the end would they picked him probably “NOT”. I HOPE HE DOESNT END UP AT RENAULT … RENAULT IS ON THE WAY BACK AND HE WILL JUST STALL THE PROCESS. KUBICA is a talent all ne needs now is a good package lets hope that Renault can provide him that because at BMW they failed by concertrating for the new year 2009 where he was fighting for the championship of 2008

  9. Funny thing, if Kubica is really that good, then why didn’t he beat Heidfeld in 3 years at BMW? (excluding his 6 races in 2006). Heifeld scored (if my calculations are right) 140 points, Kubica 131 in those 3 seasons. Heidfeld wasn’t much better, but he surely wasn’t ‘shown the way’ by Kubica. He still has enough going for him to place above several others who already have a place on the grid.

    • Cyclops said on 20th January 2010, 18:07

      Heidfeld retired 4 times during those three years.
      Kubica 8, plus 1 race he wasn’t allowed to take part in by doctors (US GP).

      Heidfeld average points per race for up to 2009 – 1,29
      Kubica average points per race up to 2009 – 2,40

      Any questions?

      • Artur said on 21st January 2010, 5:33

        u have had a brain memory lapse have u forgot the blown engines that kubica had four of them how much did heidfield have none and still achieved nothing i am sure u cant blame kubica for the blown engines just like u cant blame vettel for not winning the champioship because of his engine failures

      • Cyclops – you better look up you stats they are wrong. In the last three years of racing together Nick has scored more points per race start than Robert.

        • Cyclops said on 21st January 2010, 8:37

          I counted career-long averages.

          • Cyclops said on 21st January 2010, 8:55

            If you take those 3 years, it’s true – Heifdeld’s average is slightly better (2,69 to Kubica’s 2,56). Then again, if you count only those races they completed it’s again Kubica (3,04 to 2,91 of Heidfeld).

            You have to admit, that there is no reason to give Heidfeld the credit for being better, no matter If you take pure numbers or the circumstances into account. The broader perspective you take, the better Kubica looks. And I can have my hand cut off, If at the end of his career Kubica doesn’t get better than Heidfeld both in terms of statistics and fans’ and f1 experts’ memories.

          • Artur said on 21st January 2010, 9:07

            I rather u keep your hand no matter what happens:-) but lets wait and see what happns afterall its up to the drivers to perform providing they have a good package with the car

          • It becomes really difficult to start including race finishes for standardisation of your analysis. Nick makes very few driver errors and in fact over three seasons has not caused a single race accident (Singapore was entirely Sutil’s problem). Most Heidfeld fans will concede that Robert is very good and I consider the two drivers to be different but equal in driver ability. Taken further I would like to see both drivers at Renault as I think their combined skills would build the team up more than any other available driver combination.

  10. jose arellano said on 20th January 2010, 19:01

    davidson & heidfield for USF1

  11. Artur said on 23rd January 2010, 12:58

    Heidfeld joins ‘Team Germany’ at Mercedes
    23 January 2010

    After Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher the Mercedes Grand Prix team has signed up former BMW Sauber F1 driver Nick Heidfeld. The German became the team’s test and reserve driver as of this season his manager confirmed.

    On Monday, 25 January, Nick Heidfeld will be presented to the invited guests and media during at Mercedes┬┤ team launch in Stuttgart. Speaking about his upcoming challenge as the team’s test and reserve driver his manager Andre Theuerzeit told German magazine Bild: “Nick (Heidfeld) will fully concentrate on supporting the team’s main drivers as the team’s test and reserve driver. Nick focused on a seat with one of the top teams but unfortunately we were unable to sign him up.”e

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