Heidfeld under pressure at BMW Sauber

Other News Materials 3 August 2008 16:34 (UTC +04:00)

Nick Heidfeld's future at BMW Sauber remains uncertain, with the German admitting to experiencing a difficult phase of the Formula One season, dpa reported.

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen has been giving nothing away on the team's plans for 2009 as speculation surrounds both Heidfeld and his Polish team-mate Robert Kubica.

Theissen said at the Hungaroring ahead of Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix there would be no decisions until talks with the drivers.

"We will announce our drivers for 2009 between the summer break (after Hungary) and the end of of the season," Theissen said.

There seems to be plenty of competition for a place in the BMW Sauber team, with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso seen as a leading candidate.

Alonso, who left McLaren-Mercedes at the end of last year after an unhappy time with the Anglo-German outfit, needs a more competitive car than Renault appear to be able to offer at present.

"Drivers have approached us just as there have been attempts to woo our drivers," Theissen said without revealing any names.

Kubica is highly sought in view of his performances this season which have put him fourth in the drivers' standings going into the Hungarian Grand Prix. He has been consistently quicker in qualifying than Heidfeld who is fifth in the standings.

The German knows he needs results to strengthen his position. He began the season well with second place in Australia but his form has been patchy since while Kubica has shone.

"I have not had such a difficult phase in my career," he admitted.

Although he seems to have recovered from the worst he says he won't be absolutely satisfied with the season "because too many things went wrong at the beginning."

A 15th place on the grid at the Hungaroring however came as a setback after good performances at the Canadian, British and German Grands Prix.

A fourth place in the standings by the end of the season is still Heidfeld's aim, and despite the current uncertainty the 31-year-old driver remains confident of being kept on for 2009.

"I know the team is behind me," he says.