Since Heidfeld is no longer in contention for an F1 return in 2011, one would assume the German would be in pole position to get his job back with Mercedes. Well, that would be wrong, since the marque's head of marketing Joachim Schmidt admitted a bunch of racers are being considered for that seat, yet none is of German origins.
“We already have two German drivers,” said Schmidt in a recent interview with the Bietigheimer Zeitung newspaper. “At the moment we are in conversation with potential candidates.”
Additionally, Mercedes' official also talked about the constant rumors regarding the German carmaker's potential withdraw of support of their F1 team, unless it performs at championship winning level in 2011. He stressed the fact that already Merc's expenditures in F1 have cut significantly after the company decided to switch support from Woking to Brackley.
“The financial burden, compared to when we were partnered with McLaren, is clearly lower,” added Schmidt. “For us, because of the advertising revenue and the money from FOM, it is economically more attractive than before. For this reason, we have the backing of our workforce for our formula one engagement.”
Mercedes GP ended last year's campaign as the 4th best manufacturer in the pack, after Red Bull Racing, McLaren Mercedes and Ferrari. However, they failed to grab a single win all season, highlighting 3 podiums (all 3rd places) in Malaysia, China and Great Britain.