Nick Heidfeld is fully prepared to step into a top race seat in 2011, according to the German’s manager.
German Heidfeld, 33, was believed close to returning to Mercedes as reserve driver for this season before his former BMW teammate Robert Kubica was badly injured in a rally smash.
As the favourite for Kubica’s full-time Renault seat, the 33-year-old will test the R31 over a day and a half at Jerez this weekend.
Heidfeld’s manager Andre Theuerzeit is confident.
“Nick kept himself fit through the winter, prepared to go racing,” he told Welt newspaper.
Theuerzeit indicated that Heidfeld’s other option – the Mercedes reserve seat – is probably more lucrative than the Renault drive.
“Nick is a heart and soul racing driver. To him, racing is more important than money,” he said.
Heidfeld insisted he is relaxed and will not change his normal approach as he effectively auditions for a place on the 2011 grid.
“I’m not going to build up slowly or try to get there quickly,” he is quoted by Dutch website f1today.nl. “I will do it at my pace, which is best because it’s how I’ve always done it.
“It may take some time for me to adapt to new systems and a new car, but I’m used to this type of situation,” added Heidfeld.
© RIF | GMM