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Mercedes may not replace Heidfeld

ESPNF1 Staff
August 17, 2010 « Rosberg as good as Vettel, says Berger | »
Nick Heidfeld left Mercedes to take up his new role with Pirelli © Getty Images

Mercedes may elect not to appoint a replacement for departing test driver Nick Heidfeld after the team released the German from his contract to become Pirelli's official tyre development tester.

Heidfeld was officially released by Mercedes on Tuesday, the day he began his new role behind the wheel of a Toyota TF109 for two days of testing at Mugello, Italy.

Spain's daily AS sports newspaper initially reported that Andy Soucek, who last week left his role as Virgin's reserve driver, was one candidate to fill the vacant position.

According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, however, Mercedes may not appoint a permanent replacement as a full-time reserve driver is not required by the sporting regulations.

The other option for Mercedes would be to nominate a reserve driver on a race-by-race basis.