Nick Heidfeld believes formula one drivers should be prepared to race for less money, as the sport tightens its belt in reaction to the global financial crisis.

Nick Heidfeld believes formula one drivers should be prepared to race for less money, as the sport tightens its belt in reaction to the global financial crisis.

As the governing FIA and the teams' FOTA alliance work to drastically slash the sport's unsustainable budgets, it has been proposed that the highly-paid drivers might also have to feel the effect of the efforts.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa recently said he would not be happy with a pay-cut, arguing that the cost of drivers is proportionately small in the context of entire racing budgets.

His teammate Kimi Raikkonen, meanwhile, who is believed to be F1's highest paid driver, refused to wade into the discussion at all.

But Nick Heidfeld, who drives for BMW-Sauber, said in interview with spox.com that drivers cannot hide from the realities of their sport.

The 31-year-old German admitted that driver salaries are significant when contemplating F1 team budgets.

"Therefore we will have to adjust ourselves to it, just like everyone else," Heidfeld, who on Friday and Saturday got his first taste of the new F1.09 single seater at Valencia, said.

"At the moment it is not really an issue, and I hope that there are other ways so that nobody loses their jobs and the driver salaries stay the same," he added.

One proposal has been a mandatory driver salary cap for teams, but F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone denies that such a measure will be necessary.

"If the teams don't offer the money, there is no need for a salary cap," he told the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

 

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