Nick Heidfeld thinks that F1 team bosses would be mad to overlook him in their search for drivers next season. All right, I’ve put words in his mouth there a bit, but that is what he’s getting at, and I’m inclined to agree.
Speaking to the Deutsche Presse Agentur (dpa) news agency, 32 year-old Heidfeld outlined why he thinks he should not be looking to a different racing series just yet.
‘My Formula One experience helps me, of course. After 10 years I have a great deal of knowledge and technical know-how,’ he said.
‘Apart from the fact that I have beaten top drivers such as (Kimi) Raikkonen, (Felipe) Massa or (Mark) Webber as team colleagues, it is now important to put in good performances in the next races.
‘In Formula One every Grand Prix is a job application. It has been difficult to show what I can do in a car which has so far been inferior this season. But I am still highly motivated to get the very best out of every situation.’
Cards on table time: I like Heidfeld. I think he’s underrated and unfairly dubbed as “boring”, just because he won’t always play the game with English language commentators on race-day. Neither will Kimi, but no one would dare call him dull.
But in my biased opinion, he has a lot going for him. Age and experience, for one. He’s also considered a good developmental driver and Mario once said on German TV how Robert can tell you what a car’s doing wrong, while Nick comes back with suggestions on what to change to improve matters. That must be easier for the mechanics (assuming his ideas are right, that is!) to deal with.
But what I think makes him a really good candidate for 2010 is his ability to cope with adversity. He makes very few mistakes and always seems to be near the front after chaotic/wet races. With no re-fuelling, heavy cars and strained rubber next year, I suspect his race-craft will shine.
Incidentally, Nick’s last DNF came in Indianapolis, 2007 — mechanical failure.
Now, I’m aware that there’s a strong counter argument to all this… Feel free to point that out below!