Heidfeld ready for Williams wait

Nick Heidfeld has told autosport.com that he is confident he has done everything he can to persuade Williams that he is the man they should hand a race drive to next season after ending his year's testing at Jerez in Spain with some strong performances

Heidfeld ready for Williams wait

The German ace, who is fighting with team test driver Antonio Pizzonia to become Mark Webber's team-mate in 2005, claims that he could not have asked for anything more during his two tests with the team - and that now it is just a question of waiting for a final decision to be made.

Speaking exclusively to autosport.com about his Williams chance, Heidfeld said: "I was very comfortable with the tests. It is clear Pizzonia and I have a very good chance for this seat and I was conscious of that during the tests, but I was not nervous at all. Not even a small bit.

"First of all I believe in my talent, and I also had tests like this before and they always went well. It helped me because I have been in circumstances like this before."

Although there was a great deal of attention focused on Heidfeld and Pizzonia during last week's test, especially when Williams co-owner Patrick Head cheekily labelled a head-to-head final day together as a 'shoot-out', Heidfeld himself admits he felt no pressure at all.

"It does not help if you think about all these things outside the cockpit," he said. "When you are in the car, you just work with the engineers - that is all. My focus is always the same because if my mind drifts to somewhere else then it can never be positive."

And despite the prospect of a nervous wait now while Williams makes its decision, Heidfeld claims the feeling is nowhere near as bad as it was 12 months ago when he faced the prospect of not being in F1 at all.

"Last year it was more difficult because time was a lot longer for me, not knowing what I was going to do. At that time there was one seat available but we were only talking. I did not have a chance to show what I can do in the car, and I was feeling bad about that.

"This year I still don't know, I still have to wait by the phone. But at least I got this test so it cannot be bad. I don't know when Williams will decide. I will just wait by the phone again."

Although Heidfeld can only guess about who Williams will pick for a race drive in 2005, there is a growing certainty that whatever happens he will definitely have some role to play with the Grove-based team in 2005.

Sources told autosport.com that the very fact Heidfeld was allowed to conduct secret wet weather testing for Michelin at Jerez last weekend was evidence that the German has some sort of contractual deal with Williams already agreed.

"There is no way Nick would be allowed to test if there was the slight chance that he could take any knowledge of Michelin's developments to a rival team or tyre manufacturer," said the source.

Despite Heidfeld's impressive pace, it is still highly likely that Pizzonia will be given the nod to start the season as Mark Webber's team-mate - although he may be given a performance-related deal which requires him to shine at the start of the campaign if he is not to be replaced by Heidfeld.

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