Nick Heidfeld could still join Mercedes Grand Prix for F1 2010, as he has apparently been offered the test and reserve role.
According to reports by German newspaper, Bild
, the new Silver Arrows works team is keen to conclude a deal with the 32-year-old, who was one of the favourites to race alongside Nico Rosberg, until Michael Schumacher opted to come out of retirement and return to the pinnacle of the sport with the Brackley-based outfit.
Since Schumacher was confirmed by Mercedes - former 2009 F1 Constructors' champions, Brawn GP - it had been predicted that Heidfeld would remain with Sauber, having raced for the squad for the last four years, albeit in its previous guise as the BMW-Sauber F1 team.
However, with that now looking unlikely and former McLaren-Mercedes tester Pedro de la Rosa being tipped to join Kamui Kobayashi [see separate story – click here
], Heidfeld is running out of options.
Indeed there are only four other possibilities, namely joining Renault, which has a vacancy alongside Robert Kubica, as well as Scuderia Toro Rosso or newcomers Campos Meta 1 and USF1.
Writing on his personal website, Heidfeld conceded that the situation is not looking good and while he is happy to see Schumacher back, he is only too aware that the return of the record-breaking multiple F1 World champion is a blow for him personally.
"Michael Schumacher's decision to return is certainly a great thing for F1," Heidfeld explained. "I wish Michael and Mercedes much luck. This decision affects me directly though because it means there is one less good seat for next year.
"I am not naive when I say especially after the past few weeks a lot of unexpected things can happen in F1. Now we have to look forward and focus on the best long-term option for my future in F1. I will continue to train hard and conduct talks with the appropriate people.
"I hope to be able to announce something concrete about my future plans in the coming weeks."