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Heidfeld replaces De la Rosa at BMW Sauber

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BMW Sauber announced on Tuesday that Nick Heidfeld is to replace Pedro de la Rosa at the team for the remainder of the 2010 season. Heidfeld will race alongside Kamui Kobayashi at the final five Grands Prix of the year.
“I’m looking forward like crazy to having the opportunity to go racing again in a good car in Formula One from the Singapore Grand Prix onwards,” said the German. “After the last few months I’m even more motivated than ever. For me it is like coming home, as I raced for seven years in total for the team. Without doubt I will feel at home straight away and this should help me to familiarise myself as soon as possible with the car. I want to thank Peter Sauber for the faith he has put in me.”

Heidfeld only parted company with BMW Sauber at the end of last year and became Mercedes GP’s reserve and test driver for the 2010 season. In August he was released from his Mercedes contract in order to become the official tyre tester for Pirelli. He recently completed two tests for the Italian company, who are to return to the sport next year as the sole tyre supplier. Heidfeld's contract with BMW Sauber comes into effect on Friday.

The 33 year-old German boasts over a decade of Formula One experience. He began his F1 career with Prost in 2000 and since then has participated in 167 Grands Prix driving for Sauber (2001-2003), Jordan (2004), Williams (2005) and BMW Sauber (2006-2009). He enjoyed his best season in 2007 when he finished fifth in the world championship, and he has achieved 12 podium finishes so far in his career.

Commenting on the team’s decision to end their contract with De la Rosa, team principal Peter Sauber added: “It was a hard decision for me to make as and I want to thank Pedro for his professionalism. By signing Nick we have a driver we know extremely well who will help us to further judge the comparative potential of our car.”

De la Rosa joined BMW Sauber in January after working with McLaren as a test driver for seven years. Although he also had 71 Grands Prix starts under his belt, the veteran returnee struggled to match pre-season expectations. Hampered by an uncompetitive and unreliable car, the Spaniard retired seven times from the first ten races and scored his first - and only - points of the year at August’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

"I am surprised by the team's decision, but I respect it and would like to wish everyone good luck for the remainder of the season," said the 39 year-old. "I still intend to be in Formula One for 2011.”

Heidfeld will be in action for the team at next weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, which will take place from September 24-26.


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