Ex-BMW Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld will be the test and reserve driver for Mercedes GP Petronas this year, after failing to find a permanent race seat for 2010.

The German was linked with a drive at Mercedes before Silver Arrows opted for the returning Michael Schumacher. When that happened, “Quick Nick” was reported to be in talks with Renault and Lotus but none materialised.

“I am very pleased to be joining the Mercedes GP Petronas Formula 1 Team. It’s the team which has attracted the most interest in the close season, not only because of the comeback of Michael Schumacher, but also because this season sees the return of the Silver Arrows cars as a Mercedes-Benz works team for the first time in over 50 years

“While I would of course have preferred a seat as an active driver, I am really proud to be part of the new Silver Arrows team. I have seen how committed everyone at the team is and I feel the same. I will be doing my very best to support Michael and Nico this year,” Heidfeld said.

With Heidfeld on board, Mercedes GP Petronas now has three German drivers!