Heidfeld seeks new drive for 2010

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The Independent Online

Nick Heidfeld is in talks with other Formula One teams over securing his future in the sport after being left stunned by BMW Sauber's withdrawal yesterday.

The marque are to end their involvement at the end of the season, leaving Heidfeld and team-mate Robert Kubica on the lookout for a new drive for 2010.



Whilst Kubica is only 24 and rated as one the finest prospects in F1, Heidfeld has just turned 32, with many believing his best days are behind him.



BMW Sauber's decision came like a bolt out of the blue for Heidfeld, who said: "BMW's decision to no longer to compete in Formula One was totally unexpected.



"I feel very sorry for the members of the team with whom it has been my privilege to work over the years.



"I would like to thank all of them for their tremendous support and for everything we have achieved together."



Yet a defiant Heidfeld, with an eye on his career, added: "I'm not going to lose sight of my ambition to reach the top in Formula One.



"I'll be doing my best to support the team and ensure we get the best possible finish to the season.



"But as far as my personal future is concerned, we'll now be continuing discussions under these changed circumstances."



There is a possibility the team could yet return to privateer hands as former owner Peter Sauber still holds a 20% stake after selling to BMW in 2005.



Sauber, though, is also still coming to terms with the news as the 65-year-old said: "I respect and accept the decision, but am still finding it hard to digest."



As for the team's prospects going forward, he added: "The position we are in now makes it very difficult."



The Formula One Teams' Association are at least willing to offer any assistance to keep the team on track, just as they did in resurrecting Brawn GP from the ashes of Honda's demise.



FOTA secretary general Simone Perillo said: "FOTA teams have immediately consulted each other and are ready to assure all the necessary support to the Switzerland-based team, whose membership in the Association is confirmed, to continue its involvement in F1.



"FOTA will seek the opinions of the most relevant stakeholders in order to exchange ideas and define proposals for the future of Formula One.



"FOTA teams now wish to have the necessary certainty and stability within Formula One in order to focus on those fundamental priorities for the future."



There is also the possibility of the FIA turning to one of the teams they rejected two months ago when three new positions on the grid were available, opting for US F1, Manor Grand Prix and Campos Meta1.



Epsilon Euskadi boss Joan Villadelprat has insisted his team would be willing to step into the breach.



"The people who were interested in helping us are still interested, which is incredible, so if the opportunity arises, we are going to attack it, there's no doubt about it," said Villadelprat.



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