A manufacturers' title would be nice so, in order to get that done, Mercedes thinks a change is needed within their Woking based outfit. Although it was widely rumored that Kimi Raikkonen is set to rejoining the team next year – following his ousting from Ferrari – the British organization is now seeking for a secondary option.
Nick Heidfeld, the man who argued that he is one of the most underrated drivers in the F1 roster, is seen as a potential McLaren driver by the team's very principal Martin Whitmarsh.
“He is the most under rated driver in Formula One,” the British official was quoted as saying after the Brazilian Grand Prix, while echoed by Mercedes' motorsport director Norbert Haug: “He (Heidfeld) brings over ten years of consistently strong performances.”
There are two things that determined McLaren-Mercedes to build a backup plan for their 2010 lineup. First of all, the drivers' market this year is full of good and experienced drivers who can always bring something new to the table at McLaren. Secondly, Raikkonen seems to be in talks with Japanese manufacturer Toyota also.
Considering Toyota's history of spending big on their F1 operations, a better financial offer would likely make the 2007 F1 champion choose the Cologne way after Abu Dhabi, which would see McLaren without a solid replacement for Kovalainen next year.