Nick Heidfeld has hit out again at BMW’s policy of sitting out a race driver so that Sebastian Vettel can drive on the Fridays of grand prix weekends.
After Robert Kubica missed the opening ninety minutes of running in Australia, we have learned that Heidfeld will take a turn out of the cockpit in Malaysia later this week.
But although German Heidfeld enjoyed two days of Sepang testing last week, the 29-year-old is still publicly critical of a policy that has not been followed by BMW-Sauber’s top team rivals.
“Using Vettel still makes no sense to me,” Heidfeld, who first hit out at the idea at the impressive F1.07 car’s launch in January, told the magazine Motorsport Aktuell.
He added: “A test driver does not supply any data that I cannot collect for myself, and the other main teams all leave their race drivers in the cars.”
In Melbourne, only Williams also ran a test driver in Friday practice.
Despite Heidfeld’s annoyance, however, team boss Mario Theissen has scrapped BMW’s pre-season target of finishing either fourth or fifth in the constructors’ championship this year.
The German told Swiss newspaper Blick: “I believe we can be even more optimistic.
“Melbourne showed us that we are the third strongest team in the field.”