Pirelli says it is keen to retain the services of Nick Heidfeld, despite the announcement that the German will return to an F1 race seat with Sauber for the final five rounds of the year.
Heidfeld left his role as test and reserve driver with Mercedes to take up the position with Pirelli as it works on development of the tyres it will use for its return to the F1 scene next year – having secured the contract to replace Bridgestone when it leaves the sport at the end of the year.
However, Heidfeld has now agreed a deal to return to Sauber as a replacement for Pedro de la Rosa, with the move raising question marks about his continued involvement with Pirelli.
With his contract with Sauber not kicking in until Friday, Heidfeld will test for Pirelli again in Spain this week and could yet conduct further running before the end of the year, although the tyre manufacturer admits that it needs to evaluate if such a move is feasible.
“Nick is testing with us at Jerez this week and after that we'll sit down with him and discuss the possibilities,” a Pirelli spokesperson told GP Update
. “The plan is to hold on to him, if possible, but obviously we need to see if there's a logistical solution there.”