Sauber has confirmed rumours that Nick Heidfeld will return to the team from the Singapore Grand Prix onwards.
Speculation which emerged during the Monza race weekend suggested that the team was looking into the possibility of bringing in Heidfeld to replace Pedro de la Rosa [See separate story HERE
], with the Spaniard having struggled for results on his return to a race seat this year.
Having apparently found a way out of his testing contract with Pirelli, Heidfeld will now return to his former team for the final five rounds of the season as partner to Kamui Kobayashi, with the German admitting he was delighted to have the opportunity to return to a race seat.
“I'm looking forward like crazy to having the opportunity to go racing again in a good car in Formula One from the Singapore Grand Prix onwards,” he said. “After the last months I'm even more motivated than ever. For me it is like coming home, as I raced for seven years in total for the team from Hinwil.
“Without doubt I will be feeling at home straight away and this should help me to familiarise myself as soon as possible with the car. I want to thank Peter Sauber for the faith he has put in me.”
Team boss Peter Sauber insisted that the decision would allow Sauber to better understand the C29 as the team seeks to maximise its championship position through the final rounds of the year.
“It was a hard decision for me to make as a team principal and I want to thank Pedro for his professionalism,” he said. “By signing Nick we have a driver we know extremely well who will help us to further judge the comparative potential of our car.”
Heidfeld started the season as test driver for Mercedes before taking up his role with Pirelli, and conducted two tests with the tyre supplier prior to securing his Sauber return.
Heidfeld's contract with the team will take effect on 17 September.