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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Nick Heidfeld
Looking for a second chance

Nick Heidfeld
Born: 10/3/77
Nationality: German
First GP: Australia 2000
Best result: 3rd
2004 position: 18th
Previous teams: Prost, Sauber
It says a great deal for Nick Heidfeld that he has managed to rebuild his reputation this season despite driving for the struggling Jordan team.

Heidfeld has impressed greatly with some of his drives, dragging the EJ14 into places it did not deserve to be.

The diminutive German has never quite recovered from being passed over by McLaren in favour of then team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in 2001.

Nevertheless, with no top drives open Heidfeld's career is in the balance.

And despite his impressive peformances in 2004, it remains open to debate whether Heidfeld is a genuine top-level contender.

Some believe he should have been more seriously considered by Williams as an option for 2005.

But Heidfeld's failure to beat Heinz-Harald Frentzen when they were team-mates at Sauber in 2003 did him no good.

Frentzen is quick and experienced, but had been found wanting at the highest level with Williams in 1997-8.

All this must be difficult for Heidfeld, whose career got off to such a promising start.

He was a member of McLaren's driver development programme for some years, so it was hardly surprising if he was a bit miffed at the team preferring Raikkonen as a replacement for Mika Hakkinen.

Ron Dennis chose the Finn because he felt Raikkonen had greater long-term potential, and most would say he has been proved right.

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