Mercedes may replace Heidfeld with Soucek – or no-one

Mercedes GP may replace their ex-third driver and incumbent Pirelli tester Nick Heidfeld with Virgin refugee Andy Soucek – or no-one at all.

Heidfeld was formally released by the Brackley team on Monday after agreeing to help test the Italian rubber, which he began yesterday at Mugello.

Spanish sports newspaper AS reported today that Soucek is a candidate to replace Heidfeld.

But Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said Mercedes have not made an approach to the F2 champion.

Heidfeld’s experience with the new tyres makes him a strong bet for a race seat in 2011, adding a tactical dimension to his decision to help Pirelli.

Meanwhile, other reports indicate Pirelli would have preferred Kimi Raikkonen as their tester.