Heidfeld's job is on the line, move to Honda? UPDATE #5 (GMM) Nick Heidfeld could be set to move from BMW-Sauber to Honda for the 2009 season.
The struggling Japanese team's chief executive Nick Fry told spox.com that he is keeping an eye on the availability of the 31-year-old German, whose inconsistent form this year has cast doubt on his future.
It is believed that Jenson Button will definitely be retained by Brackley based Honda next year, but team chiefs have been weighing up their options for the seat currently occupied by veteran Rubens Barrichello.
Honda's most high profile target was Fernando Alonso, but the Spaniard is now widely expected to stay at Renault.
"I've already spoken with Nick, and more than just saying 'hello'," Fry is quoted as admitting.
The Briton also confirmed rumors that 2008 GP2 runner-up Bruno Senna is in the frame, even though it is believed team boss Ross Brawn is pushing for an initial test driver contract.
"He has the name, he has the genes," Fry said.
Wilder speculation, repeated in the authoritative French sports daily L'Equipe, is that Toro Rosso has thrown in a serious bid to sign the available Alonso next year.
"Of course I am interested (in Alonso), but so is everybody else," team co-owner Gerhard Berger said, admitting that his Faenza based team cannot compete with the financial incentives offered by its rivals.
Honda's Fry, meanwhile, advises Alonso to spurn BMW-Sauber's advances.
"Fernando found that McLaren is rigid, and BMW is even worse," he said.09/25/08 (GMM) Despite earlier speculation about his future proving untrue, the future of Nico Rosberg is once again the subject of paddock rumors.
Several weeks ago, before Heikki Kovalainen was confirmed for 2009, McLaren dismissed suggestions it was looking to buy out the young German's Williams contract.
The rumor had been triggered by famous driver manager Willi Weber, whose charge Nico Hulkenberg is a Williams test driver this year.
Weber hinted that Rosberg could be set to move on soon.
Williams and Rosberg have since pledged to stay together in 2009, but the Swiss newspaper Blick is from Singapore reporting the possibility of a shake-up.
Blick claims that Rosberg, 23, and BMW-Sauber's Nick Heidfeld could exchange cockpits at the end of this season. 09/06/08 (GMM) Nick Heidfeld admits he is fighting for his future with BMW-Sauber in formula one.
The 31-year-old German has been at the wheel of the Swiss based team's BMW guise since its inception, but in 2008 he has struggled to keep pace with his teammate Robert Kubica.
He told Bild newspaper that, with the 2009 grid now beginning to form, his situation is "bad".
"I am fulfilling neither my own expectations or those of the team," Heidfeld said.
|Heidfeld cracks a smile at Spa Friday|
He was asked by the German newspaper if he fears for his job.
"Yes, I do," said Heidfeld, comparing his situation to when he lost his seat at the Sauber team at the end of 2003.
"There have been two times when I did not know how it was going to continue for me -- a very difficult time," he explained.
Amid reports of contact with Toro Rosso, Heidfeld admits he is currently "observing the driver market, as I always do".
"But I want to remain with BMW next year and fight for the championship. It would be really annoying if I was not able to do that."09/04/08 (GMM) Nick Heidfeld on Thursday said he is not feeling the heat of the pressure he is under to retain his BMW-Sauber seat in 2009.
Team officials were unimpressed with his run to ninth at Valencia two weeks ago, and boss Mario Theissen said on the eve of this weekend's Belgian grand prix weekend that he plans "to see both cars finish solidly in the points" at Spa.
But even though Heidfeld's options to remain in F1 appear limited should he lose his BMW ride, the German driver said at the circuit that speculation about his future does not bother him.
"I put more pressure on myself than anyone on the outside can," he is quoted as saying at Spa-Francorchamps by the German news agency SID.
Heidfeld said his situation after Valencia, where teammate Robert Kubica finished on the podium, is obvious.
"If one of the team's cars is on the podium and the other one is not in the points, then nobody has to say anything," he explained.
Kubica, the impressive Polish driver who is reported to be staying at BMW in 2009, said on Thursday he would be happy to keep Heidfeld as his teammate.
"People like to forget what Nick has done in the past. You have to look at the bigger picture, not just at what you want to see," the 23-year-old told reporters.
"Nick is a very good driver, and he has shown that many times. I struggle to find someone who is quicker.
"I don't see why we can't be teammates again next season, but I would have no problem if there was also a different driver," Kubica added.08/27/08 (GMM) Following a dreadful showing at Valencia last weekend, Nick Heidfeld's future in formula one is back under a dark cloud.
"When we are in a position to do so, we need to be scoring with both cars," BMW-Sauber team boss Mario Theissen was quoted as saying by RTL after the European grand prix, where Robert Kubica finished on the podium and Heidfeld, the 31-year-old German, was ninth and out of the points.
Dispensing with Heidfeld, however, could be an expensive option for BMW -- not only will the Swiss based outfit need to replace the veteran with a talented successor, but it is understood Heidfeld is already firmly under contract, with a multi-million dollar retainer, for 2009.
In the German press, however, it is rumored that Heidfeld's managers Andre Theuerzeit and Werner Heinz nonetheless recognize the gravity of the situation and are on the hunt for a back-up plan.
Theuerzeit was spotted more than once in the Red Bull motor home at Valencia, possibly to explore the vacancies at the energy drink company's junior team Toro Rosso.
However, another team boss with a vacancy for next year, Honda's Nick Fry, is quoted as telling the German newspaper AZ when asked about a 2009 berth: "Heidfeld? No."08/02/08 (GMM) Despite Nick Heidfeld insisting he is "relaxed" about his future at BMW-Sauber, team boss Mario Theissen in Hungary stopped short of saying the German will be retained beyond 2008.
Theissen told the news agency AFP he will wait a few more races before determining whether or not Heidfeld, 31, has overcome the performance slump he suffered earlier this season.
In the last four races, Heidfeld has scored more points than any other driver on the grid.
"I am very confident that he has overcome the weak period, but you don't get into this within a week and you don't get out of it within a week," Theissen said on Saturday.
"So, he has to work systematically -- and he is working systematically. And I am confident he will get back to full performance and full confidence."