Sauber has confirmed that Nick Heidfeld will replace Pedro de la Rosa for the rest of the season.
The Spaniard has not had much luck this year and has recently been overshadowed by Kamui Kobayashi. It’s worth noting too that of the remaining five tracks he does not know either Singapore or Abu Dhabi, whereas Heidfeld does. In addition his recent tests in the Pirelli-equipped Toyota have given Heidfeld a chance to get up to speed.
It remains to be seen what happens now to his Pirelli deal, because he was released by Mercedes specifically to test for the Italian tyre company on the basis that he would not be tied in any way to a current team. Logic suggests that de la Rosa – coming straight from using 2010 Bridgestones – will be a sensible choice for Pirelli to make.
In a team statement Peter Sauber said: “It was a hard decision for me to make as a Team Principal and I want to thank Pedro for his professionalism. By signing Nick we have a driver we know extremely well who will help us to further judge the comparative potential of our car.”
“I am surprised by the team´s decision, but I respect it and would like to wish everyone good luck for the remainder of the season,” said de la Rosa. “I still intend to be in Formula One for 2011.”
Meanwhile Heidfeld said: “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. 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.”