September 14, 2010...9:04 am

Sauber confirms Heidfeld in, de la Rosa out

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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.”

6 Comments

  • I can’t see Heidfeld as being a long-term prospect. I’ve always felt he’s highly-overrated, yet he’s developed almost a cult following. I’ve always thought it’s pretty telling that even though he’s beated just about every team mate that could be thrown at him, those team mates have moved up in the world whilst Heidfeld has remained static. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sauber take on Pastor Maldonado or Sergio Perez for 2011 and that the Sauber C30 runs a PDVSA or Telmex livery …

  • Shortage of engines, completely different 2010 spec Bridgestone tyres to 2009 ones, re-fuel ban in the race and test ban during the season (since having competed in F1 last year, He isn’t allowed to test) make Nick difficult to become accustomed to C29 within only 5 races to go.

    Wondering why does Mr.Peter make the risky decision? I couldn’t understand.

  • Just because Heidfeld isn’t a proven winner doesn’t make him useless. In a good car he’s one of those just-off-the-podium guys, and that makes for serious points. I’m sure he’ll be comfortable in the familiar surroundings of his old German-speaking team. Let’s keep our fingers crossed he gets super-fit and makes this his last big push.

  • This is a great decision. I’m sure he’s a lovely guy, but De La Rosa has never been anything but average throughout his career, despite having three cracks at F1 in 12 years.
    People say he’s the king of testing, but they said that about Alex Wurz too. Both were kings of testing because their talents didn’t warrant an F1 race seat. Both eventually got another chance, and both proved utterly average.
    And I think what we’re all forgetting is that De la Rosa has been in a Sauber this year because he bought money to the team, something in the order of a million euros. Nick, on the other hand, wanted to be paid probably more than that. At a time when Sauber had a tricky future financially Nick overplayed his hand. That, with Schumacher coming back to Mercedes and Button switching to McLaren meant all doors he thought would be open were suddenly closed.
    Nick hasn’t been out of F1 because of his lack of talent. It’s just that he was incredibly unlucky in last year’s silly season.
    @Prisoner Monkeys: Highly over-rated?!? Compare him against Robert Kubica during their time together at BMW. Heidfeld is ahead on points scored and podiums. If Nick had have ignored team orders in Canada 08 he’d be a grand prix winner.
    Compare Nick’s career stats to the real journeyman of F1, like Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen, and you’ll see that he’s vastly superior.
    Nick’s only weakness came in qualifying in 2008. The rest of the time he’s been utterly relentless, and has beaten Raikkonen, Massa, Glock, Pantano, Webber, Villeneuve, Vettel and Kubica in the same car! Hardly over-rated!

  • Good news, he was ‘retired’ too early…

  • Similar to Button (until 2009), Nick has never been in a top shelf ride. I think he would do quite well if he had the opportunity,


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