Mario Theissen has once again admitted that the BMW Sauber team is in no rush to name its driver line-up for the 2009 Formula One season.
While Robert Kubica is widely expected to once again return for the Hinwil-based squad next season after a successful campaign that saw him take his maiden win in Canada, there has been more speculation about the future of Nick Heidfeld after a season that has seen him outperformed by his less experienced team-mate.
After two races without points however, the German benefitted from a late tyre gamble in Belgium to take the flag in third place, which then became second – provisionally at least – when Lewis Hamilton was given his for his move on Kimi Raikkonen at the Bus Stop chicane.
The result capped a solid weekend for Heidfeld and while Theissen was quick to praise the veteran for his performance, he admitted that the team was no closer to officially revealing who will be at the wheel for 2009.
"As early as the first practice sessions it was obvious that Nick has rediscovered his normal competitiveness level," he said. "He tested last week at Monza - and although these tests were mainly supposed on gathering data about the low-downforce package for this circuit, they also offered him the opportunity of testing some ideas regarding getting the tyres up to working temperature. Obviously, we hope that this issue is history now.
"These days, I'm often asked when we are going to announce our driver pairing for the 2009 season. The only thing I can say regarding this issue is that we are not pressed for time. We will make this decision until the end of the season. After all, it's not important to make a fast decision but to make the right one."
Heidfeld himself admitted that his result at Spa had come as something of a surprise as he stormed to the podium on the final lap on his intermediate tyres with rain falling, and the 31-year-old said he was now looking to try and build on that result in the final European race of the year.
"The practice sessions were okay, the qualifying ran really well and to have made it to the podium is just sensational," he said. "Obviously, this result came as a bit of a surprise, even more so in consideration of the fact that I lost six positions right after the start. The gamble paid off and when I rejoined the action, continuing on the dry-weather tyres at reasonable speed proved to be virtually impossible.
"Now I'm truly looking forward to the next race. We are going to race at Monza this weekend and our tests there ran really well."