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Jonny
17th August 2010, 10:57
Heidfeld becomes official Pirelli test driver


Nick Heidfeld has been released from his contract as Mercedes GP reserve driver in order to become the official tester for Pirelli, who return to Formula One racing next year as the sport’s sole tyre supplier.

Heidfeld, who boasts over a decade of F1 experience, will join the Italian company for a series of tests to assist with their development work on the compounds to be used by teams in 2011. The first is due to start today (Tuesday) at the Mugello circuit in Italy.

"First of all I would like to thank (Mercedes GP’s) Ross Brawn, Norbert Haug and Nick Fry for allowing me the opportunity to become Pirelli's official test driver,” said Heidfeld. “The team has always said that they would not stand in my way if such a chance arose and they have kindly allowed me to take up this exciting new role.”

Heidfeld, 33, joined Mercedes GP for the 2010 season after parting company with BMW Sauber at the end of last year. As well as race experience with teams including Jordan and Prost, he has also previously served as a test driver for McLaren.

“Nick is an extremely experienced driver and we are confident that his racing knowledge and technical feedback will prove extremely useful to Pirelli and therefore of benefit to the sport as a whole,” said Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn.

Norbert Haug, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, commented: “There could be no more experienced and knowledgeable driver in the cockpit to steer the tyre development for next season. We thank Nick for his contribution to our team over the last nine months and wish him well with his new challenge.”

Heidfeld, who is expected to conduct initial testing with Pirelli using a Toyota TF109 car from last season, has no confirmed race drive for next year, but there is already speculation that his new job could make him an attractive proposition for teams eager to access his newly-acquired tyre knowledge.

“It would be great to see Nick in a competitive car in next year's world championship and I am sure his leading role in the new tyre development, in addition to his skills, puts Nick in a good position for the remaining seats in 2011," added Haug.

Pirelli were confirmed in June as Formula One’s new tyre supplier, following Bridgestone’s decision to withdraw at the end of the 2010 season. They will provide all teams with rubber for the next three years, in compliance with existing F1 sporting and technical regulations.

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Does this mean that Renault or someone could hire him next year beside Kubica for his inside info on the tyres? If so why did Mercedes have to release him?

Sempre_Ferrari
17th August 2010, 11:08
Good for him...I think he deserves a race seat next year and hope he gets one.

Sempre_Ferrari
17th August 2010, 11:10
Heidfeld becomes official Pirelli test driver
Does this mean that Renault or someone could hire him next year beside Kubica for his inside info on the tyres? If so why did Mercedes have to release him?

Maybe they released him cause they realised that his talent would be wasted as reserve driver for Merc and I don't think he stood any chance at getting a race seat with Merc next year.

Hermann
17th August 2010, 11:18
I think they had to release him because the test driver for the new tyres should not be involved with any of the teams. I haven't seen any team being even slightly interested in him so far.

Thats only PR speak from Haug, he is being 'polite'.

Greig
17th August 2010, 11:29
Bet he is passing all the info back to Merc for when he takes over from MS :-)

mad_ani
17th August 2010, 12:40
Mercedes GP has released Nick Heidfeld from his contract as reserve driver with the team to become Pirelli’s official test driver.

Heidfeld will start driving for Pirelli at today’s test at the Mugello circuit, behind the wheel of a 2009 Toyota F1 car.

Mercedes’ Team Principal Ross Brawn said, “We can confirm that the team is pleased to allow Nick Heidfeld the opportunity to join Pirelli and contribute to their development work for the company’s imminent return to Formula One.

“Nick is an extremely experienced driver and we are confident that his racing knowledge and technical feedback will prove extremely useful to Pirelli and therefore of benefit to the sport as a whole.

“Nick has been a real asset to Mercedes GP since joining our team this year and we are pleased to see his career progressing.”

Heidfeld was left without a racing seat following last season, when he raced for BMW Sauber before the German car maker withdrew from the sport.

Heidfeld joined the team as reserve driver at the beginning of the season and said:

First of all I would like to thank Ross Brawn, Norbert Haug and Nick Fry for allowing me the opportunity to become Pirelli’s official test driver.

The team has always said that they would not stand in my way if such a chance arose and they have kindly allowed me to take up this exciting new role. I would like to thank everyone at Mercedes GP for the great cooperation that we have had this year.

I have greatly enjoyed supporting the team in my position as Reserve Driver and have felt welcome right from the outset. It was impressive to have the opportunity to work with the current World Champions and I wish the team all the best for the remainder of the season and beyond.
Nick Heidfeld

mad_ani
17th August 2010, 12:43
All teams anyways ahve a 4 day session at Bu Dabi aftwere the final race...and with a develped compound and Nick's driving a last years Toyota......

lots of information into next years car which has KERS and mandated wt distribution.....:roll

Hornet
17th August 2010, 13:46
Hope they get it right...

Though I don't mind having a race where drivers have to make 5 pit stops, will be interesting too :-D

evil_cloud
17th August 2010, 16:43
http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com/gallery/pictures/2010/f1/test-mugello-18aug/009wri.jpg
http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com/gallery/pictures/2010/f1/test-mugello-18aug/002wri.jpg
http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com/gallery/pictures/2010/f1/test-mugello-18aug/007wri.jpg
http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com/gallery/pictures/2010/f1/test-mugello-18aug/008wri.jpg

Suzie
17th August 2010, 17:55
Merc have said they aren't in any hurry to get a new reserve driver - could they re-hire Nick once the tests are over and get all the info from him?
On the other hand, if that's Nick gone from Merc for good, I guess Michael is staying :-??
I'm really hoping that Nick gets a seat for 2011 because of this, assuming that he's allowed to join a new team with all that prior knowledge of the new tyres.

epiclyaddicted
17th August 2010, 20:59
I really hope Heidfeld gets a race drive next year, just so that I can hear him talk about "ranking" again! :-D

F1ferrarifanUSA
17th August 2010, 22:49
I have no doubt that he will get a new seat next year with all the information he will be gathering! I wont be suprised if Merc had a secret deal with him to release him to get the info from him. He will be very valuable as a driver for next season.

F1ferrarifanUSA
17th August 2010, 22:53
http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com/gallery/pictures/2010/f1/test-mugello-18aug/009wri.jpg
http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com/gallery/pictures/2010/f1/test-mugello-18aug/002wri.jpg
http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com/gallery/pictures/2010/f1/test-mugello-18aug/007wri.jpg
http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com/gallery/pictures/2010/f1/test-mugello-18aug/008wri.jpg

Which car is this?

Agron
17th August 2010, 23:46
Pirelli-Cosworth. Did you think they hired him to test tyres?

mad_ani
18th August 2010, 00:02
Which car is this?

Toyota TF109....the Toyota 2009 car....in just white

mad_ani
18th August 2010, 00:54
Pirelli-Cosworth. Did you think they hired him to test tyres?

Yes, He has got out of his contracts with Merc and is now a test driver for Pirelli. Not sure if teh contracts say he can drive for them next year....but he is a very valid candidate as

1) a driver with good race knowledge and experience
2) as president of GDPA, he can let the current drivers know how the tires behave...


Pirelli Cosworth....hahahha