Mercedes may not replace Heidfeld as reserve driver

Stephan Heublein

Mercedes might not appoint a formal replacement for its departed F1 reserve driver Nick Heidfeld.

The Brackley based team agreed to release 33-year-old Heidfeld so that he can become Pirelli's permanent tyre development tester.

The German kicked off his new role at Mugello on Tuesday, with photographs depicting a dark-helmeted Heidfeld driving a white Toyota TF109 with low-key Pirelli signage and unbranded tyres.

Spain's daily AS sports newspaper said reigning F2 champion Andy Soucek, who recently ended his contract as Virgin's reserve driver, is a candidate to replace Heidfeld.