Date: 16th September 2011 at 9:38am
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Nick Heidfeld has not given up hope of returning to Formula One next season.

The 34-year-old has not had much luck in holding on to a spot on the Formula One grid over the past couple of seasons.

In fact the German drivers last full season in F1 came in 2009 when he was at the BMW Sauber team, but he lost his drive with the team for the 2010 season.

He then had a stint as Mercedes GP test driver, before returning to the BMW Sauber team for the final five races of the 2010 calendar.

Despite scoring six points with two top ten finishes, he again lost his place in the team and looked like he was heading out of Formula One until he was given the drive at Renault following Robert Kubica’s rally crash in February.

He started 11 races this season and finished on the podium in Malaysia, but following two retirements in Germany and Hungary he was replaced by Bruno Senna.

A dispute over his dropping had threatened to go to court, but eventually Heidfeld and Renault reached an agreement which leaves Heidfeld free to continue his search for a race seat next season.

‘I am more than hopeful I can secure a seat. Next year’s cockpits are limited but we are working on it.’ a hopeful Heidfeld told Autosport Magazine.

However he did concede that while he has sponsors who are interested in partnering him, he is unlikely to be able to match the finance that some other drivers are capable of bringing to a Formula One team.

He concluded: ‘We already have sponsors interested in joining. But if this becomes the main reason to get a drive, then I can most likely not compete with a huge multi-million dollar backing.’

The German driver will have to hope that the teams with empty race seats for the 2012 season are looking for an experienced driver who can bring speed and knowledge to the team and not just a bumper sponsorship package.