Heidfeld Confirmed As Mercedes Benz’s Test Driver
Nick Heidfeld has been officially confirmed as Mercedes Benz;’s 3rd driver for the forthcoming season, and therefore creates an all German driver line-up for the silver arrows squad.
Heidfeld had been racing up until the end of last season with BMW, but after they pulled out his contract was unrenewable and he was linked with a variety of outfits including Lotus and Renault. But Lotus went with Trulli and Kovalainen, and Renault took on rookie Russian Vitaly Petrov (and his €15million sponsorship package) instead.
Now Heidfeld returns to the marque who he raced for early in his career and goes back to being a test driver for the first time since 1999 when he was testing for McLaren, who were powered by Mercedes at the time. Heidfeld set a lap record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 1999 in the McLaren (see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYY-WkPnUbg ) before getting his big break with Prost.
Heidfeld said: “I am very pleased to be joining the Mercedes GP Petronas Formula 1 Team. It’s the team which has attracted the most interest in the close season, not only because of the comeback of Michael Schumacher, but also because this season sees the return of the Silver Arrows cars as a Mercedes-Benz works team for the first time in over 50 years.
“While I would of course have preferred a seat as an active driver, I am really proud to be part of the new Silver Arrows team. I have seen how committed everyone at the team is and I feel the same. I will be doing my very best to support Michael and Nico this year.”