Sauber has announced that Nick Heidfeld will race for the team again, starting from the next race in Singapore. He takes Pedro de la Rosa’s race seat and will race alongside Kamui Kobayashi, who got a contract extension last week. This confirms rumours from the Monza paddock on Sunday evening, which team boss Peter Sauber refused to comment on.

“It was a hard decision for me to make as a team principal and I want to thank Pedro for his professionalism,” Sauber said. “By signing Nick we have a driver we know extremely well who will help us to further judge the comparative potential of our car.” The German driver’s most recent role was as test driver for Pirelli, next year’s tyre supplier, which makes him quite valuable in development terms.

“I’m looking forward like crazy to having the opportunity to go racing again in a good car in Formula One from the Singapore Grand Prix onwards. After the last months I’m even more motivated than ever. For me it is like coming home, as I raced for seven years in total for the team from Hinwil.

“Without doubt I will be feeling at home straight away and this should help me to familiarise myself as soon as possible with the car. I want to thank Peter Sauber for the faith he has put in me,” said Heidfeld, who is likely to remain with the team although contract terms weren’t revealed.

The man he replaces sounded shocked. “I am surprised by the team’s decision, but I respect it and would like to wish everyone good luck for the remainder of the season. I still intend to be in Formula One for 2011,” de la Rosa said.