Official: Heidfeld Replaces De la Rosa at Sauber
“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,” said team principal Peter Sauber in the statement.
“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,” added Heidfeld, who has spent the entire 2010 campaign so far being a reserve driver for Mercedes GP and briefly testing for Pirelli through the past few weeks.
Heidfeld will therefore return to the team for which he raced on two occasions, first between 2001 and 2003 and afterwards between 2006 and 2009, when BMW left F1.
“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 familiarize myself as soon as possible with the car. I want to thank Peter Sauber for the faith he has put in me,” added the 33-year old German.
As for Pedro de la Rosa, the 39-year old Spaniard paid tribute to his poor performances throughout the 14 races he contested for Sauber, having scored only 6 points (as compared to his younger teammate Kamui Kobayashi's 21). Rumor has it that he will replace Heidfeld as official test driver for Pirelli, being by far the most experienced driver for the job.
“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. I still intend to be in Formula One for 2011,” said De la Rosa, voicing his intentions to remain an active F1 driver for the upcoming season.