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Nick Heidfeld Q&A: I will be in Formula One in 2010 29 Oct 2009

Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday, 3 October 2009 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.09.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 16 October 2009 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Preparations, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday, 29  October 2009 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.09.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 17 October 2009 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1 signs autographs for the fans.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Preparations, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday, 29  October 2009

Whilst his BMW Sauber team mate Robert Kubica will move to Renault in 2010, Nick Heidfeld’s future is still unresolved. With his nickname ‘Quick Nick’, Heidfeld is certain he’ll be on the grid next season, though which cockpit he’ll be in remains up in the air. The German, however, has been in this situation before and seems to be feeling relaxed about his future…

Q: Nick, it might be BMW Sauber’s last race and it might be your last Formula One race. How do you feel about all that?
Nick Heidfeld:
I think it's pretty certain that it's going to be BMW Sauber's last race. I hope Sauber will be here next year, and I'm pretty certain I will be here next year, but obviously this situation is special because of all the emotions involved. We’ve all been working together for quite a long time and have achieved a lot. To think that it is all over on Sunday is difficult to imagine. Thank God that until then there is a bit of work to do.

Q: When you say that you will be here next season, do you mean in Sauber or in Formula One racing?
Here in Formula One. At the moment it is not certain if Sauber will have a slot on the grid. Hopefully they will as you cannot really regard them as a new team. I think that they will serve Formula One better than some of the new teams, in terms of how they would perform. They would be able to compete and that should in the end be more important than having a number of new teams in F1. I would say that it would be a huge pity if they don’t make it to next year’s grid.

Q: What about your personal situation? Can you say where you will drive next year? Are there any new developments?
There’s still no more to report on than at the last couple of races. Nothing has been signed yet and we’re still talking to a couple of teams. I cannot say more than that.

Q: If you had to rate your season, what would your verdict be?
I don’t like verdicts. Seventeen races leave a lot room for good and difficult moments. Clearly it was not a perfect season, but I still think it was a good season. Of course it’s not as good a season as we had last year or the year before when the curve was moving upwards. This year I struggled a bit at the first couple of races, but then I think I was able to maximise the potential of the car step by step quite often, so I regard it as a good season.

Q: The FIA has a new President. What would you like Jean Todt to achieve for Formula One racing?
I hope that there will be a bit more stability and that he continues to achieve goals that Max Mosley has set up like safety, cost saving and to keep Formula One as the pinnacle of motorsport. And to achieve all this in probably a different style - more in a consensus-dominated way, and less on the war path.

Q: What do you think about this track? Have you already done a lap?
No, I have not but I watched that video of Bruno Senna doing a lap, and later on in the evening I will walk it.

Q: What do you think of this huge development here? It’s so much more than just a race track?
To be honest, I haven’t been surprised because you’ve heard already so much about the fantastic setting and the splendour of the construction work. The adjectives always used were ‘unbelievable’, ‘huge’ and ‘fantastic’, so when you come here you know what to expect. And it is true. It is fantastic. Tomorrow in the car I will see if the circuit is good as well.

Q: Do you think that this is the future of Formula One racing, with the track just part of a whole new leisure complex?
Well, I think that the future of Formula One is where the money is. I hope that there will be a good balance between the old tracks, with lots of history, and the new developments like we see here. F1 is a world championship so it is good going to many different countries and cultures. I would not mind having 20 races a year, now that testing is so limited. But I definitely would like to see the British Grand Prix on the 2010 schedule. Many of the teams are based there and you really feel that it is the home of motorsport. You can feel the spirit, the enthusiasm and the knowledge about our sport that the people have there.

Q: What is the mood in the team? The future for a lot of people is very uncertain. Is it difficult to keep the spirit up?
I think everybody is able to differentiate that there is a job to do this weekend and that thinking about the future comes second. I am sure that it is not easy to cope with a situation where the future is so wide open.

Q: How important are Friday practice sessions when the race is at a new circuit?
It is important, but that goes for all of us. We are one of the few teams to not have a simulator, but from a driver’s perspective I don’t think that it is a huge benefit - at least that is my opinion, so I don’t miss it here. What definitely will be very special is that on Sunday we will start the race in bright daylight and go into the dark. That will be very interesting to see. I have a good feeling.

Q: And what about that special pit-lane exit tunnel. Are you worried?
No. It’s true that what they’ve done here is unique, but I think that the space is wide enough. And there is still enough space to lift up a car and move it away quickly.