Nick Heidfeld has insisted that he remains 'confident' of gaining a 'competitive' seat in F1 2010 - as uncertainty continues to shroud the identity of the driver who will occupy the second cockpit at reigning world champions Mercedes Grand Prix.

Heidfeld is understood to be one of three or four drivers under consideration to partner ex-Williams F1 ace Nico Rosberg at Brackley next season - along with record-breaking multiple world champion Michael Schumacher, Ferrari refugee Kimi Raikkonen and 2009 BMW-Sauber team-mate Robert Kubica, dependent upon the Pole being released from his Renault contract or in the case of the French manufacturer pulling the plug on its official involvement in the top flight.

Whilst it has been mooted that the Stuttgart marque is planning an all-German 'super team', such talk has been refuted by Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug - and it is believed that the team is ideally seeking to prise Kubica away from Renault, which it may find itself able to do should its rival car maker not commit to 2010 within the coming weeks [see separate story - click here].

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Heidfeld reflected in an interview with German publication Sport Bild that a Mercedes promotion - almost a decade on from being passed over by the three-pointed star in favour of then Sauber team-mate Raikkonen - would be 'every driver's dream', but he urged that he is taking his time in order to assure himself of securing 'the best possible option'.

The man from M?nchengladbach has also been linked with remaining at Hinwil now that Peter Sauber has taken back over the operation he sold to BMW four years ago - contingent upon the squad being successfully granted a spot in the 2010 F1 field.

"I am in promising talks with several teams," the 32-year-old told German news agency dpa, "and confident of driving for a competitive racing team next season."

Heidfeld made his debut in the top flight as reigning International F3000 (now GP2 Series) champion back in 2000, but 167 starts and twelve rostrum finishes later, he is still in search of his maiden grand prix victory.