Honda F1 website

MARCH 31, 2003

Heidfeld gets to drive a McLaren

Nick Heidfeld was signed up on a long-term McLaren-Mercedes option back in 1999 but he was passed over when Mika Hakkinen retired and Kimi Raikkonen moved in to take the available McLaren drive. But the McLaren option still exists (it is believed until the end of 2004) and as Heidfeld's three-year deal with Sauber comes to an end this year, Nick is beginning to look around for a plan for the future. Heidfeld has produced some strong performances at Sauber but has not truly emerged as being better than any of his team mates to date: Raikkonen in 2001, Felipe Massa in 2002 and Heinz-Harald Frentzen this year.

Later this year Heidfeld will get a chance to drive a McLaren again at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer where he will attempt to beat a record he established back in 1999. Sauber has already given Heidfeld permission to take part in the event which is expected to be bigger and better than ever.