BMW Sauber F1's Nick Heidfeld will compete at the German Grand Prix this weekend, the latest round in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship, with a special helmet design.

Heidfeld, who has struggled this year with the woefully uncompetitive BMW Sauber F1.09, often opts for a 'make over' for his home race and this year's event at the Nurburgring won't be any exception.

Heidfeld will also be hoping that the series of mechanical improvements the team is taking to the event, as well as a further developed version of the double-decker diffuser, will allow him to challenge a bit further up the field.

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Indeed while he has scored points this season, taking a second place finish at the rain-affected Malaysian GP and a seventh in Spain, that is as good as it has got and last time out the British Grand Prix was disastrous - as he only qualified 15th and was only 15th in the race itself too.

Nick though is still looking forward to racing at home and says that it will give him a boost: "A lot of fans and fan club members traditionally come to my home race. That is something I really enjoy and it gives me an extra shot of motivation," he confirmed.

"I will also once again be lining up for my home race with a special helmet design. This year it has been created by a fan on my website, and he will present me with the helmet before the start of practice on Friday.

"It goes without saying that our verdict on the season at the half-way point is anything but positive, especially when you compare our results so far with our aims going into the season.

"Of course I hope we will make improvements, and that's what everybody in the team is working to achieve."

Asked about the circuit itself, it is clear Heidfeld is a fan of both the new Nurburgring and the legendary Nordschleife.

"I have many happy memories of the Nurburgring," he continued. "I went there a lot with my parents when I was a child and the 'Ring is only an hour away from my home town of M?nchengladbach.

"In winter we went sledging on the Hohe Acht slopes, I learnt to ride a bicycle at the Nurburgring and this was also where I sat in a kart for the first time - with a tyre and a blanket wedged behind my back so that I could reach the pedals.

"Since then I've competed in races at the 'Ring in Formula Ford, Formula 3 and Formula 3000 and celebrated many victories there.

"My best Nurburgring result in F1 was in 2005 when I took pole position and finished second in the race itself."

Meanwhile Robert Kubica is also hoping that the BMW Sauber F1 team can show some progress at the 'Ring - although unlike his team-mate, he doesn't actually like the 5.148 kilometre circuit very much.

"The Nurburgring is the team's home race. Even though this season has not gone well for us so far, there will be a lot of BMW Sauber F1 Team fans there crossing their fingers for us. This is just the right time to put in a strong performance and record a good result," added the Pole.

"However, I have to admit that the track itself is not one of my favourites. Having said that, it does have a big variety of corners and also opportunities to overtake. The best of these is in the first corner, where you can take various different lines.

"So I expect we'll see more passing moves again at the Nurburgring and hopefully enjoy an exciting race."