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Nick Heidfeld still confident of securing drive

ESPNF1 Staff / GMM
January 5, 2010 « Giancarlo Fisichella linked to Sauber drive | »
Nick Heidfeld still doesn't have a drive for the 2010 season © Getty Images

Nick Heidfeld is still confident of getting a drive next season, but admitted Michael Schumacher's comeback with Mercedes meant he had to reconsider his options.

Heidfeld appeared to be in the running to partner Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, but was beaten to the position by Schumacher. His old team Sauber now looks set to recruit either Giancarlo Fisichella or Pedro de la Rosa, leaving Heidfeld without an obvious drive in 2010.

"Naturally over the holidays my current job situation was at the front of my mind, especially just before Christmas when Michael Schumacher was confirmed by Mercedes," he wrote on his official website. "It is a good thing for F1 and I wish Michael and Mercedes the best of luck. But this decision affects me directly, since there are now fewer places available in F1 next year."

German newspaper Bild has linked him with a test seat at Mercedes, but competition director Norbert Haug said nothing had been confirmed.

"There has only been basic contact with Nick, which is what I have had for several years," Haug told German news agency DPA. "We did talk to Nick about possibilities with Mercedes GP as well as McLaren-Mercedes."

Nevertheless, Heidfeld is keen to find the best possible option and is hoping to make an announcement soon.

"I am not naive if I say, particularly after the last few weeks, that a lot can change very quickly in F1," Heidfeld added. "Now I have to look forward and focus on the best possible long-term option available to me in F1. I will continue to train hard, have conversations with the right people and will try as hard as possible to get a drive. I hope I can announce something concrete about my future plans in the coming weeks."

The only unconfirmed places in F1 next season are at Renault, Sauber, Campos, US F1 and Toro Rosso.