Nick Heidfeld remains committed to returning to the formula one grid in 2011.

Nick Heidfeld remains committed to returning to the formula one grid in 2011.

After holding out for a competitive seat with an established team in the wake of BMW's withdrawal at the end of last season, the veteran of 167 grands prix found himself without a drive at all.

German Heidfeld, 33, has therefore attended the grands prix this year as Mercedes' reserve driver, but on Tuesday he revealed that he does not think he will graduate to a race seat with the Brackley based team in 2011.

Heidfeld said his current job is not all bad.

"There are worse things than to get to drive beautiful AMG models," he said on Austrian 'Servus TV'.

"That's not the problem. The problem is when I see them (his former F1 rivals) driving and not me.

"But I am quite clear with my motivation and I know that the prospects for the future are quite good," added Heidfeld.

He has recently been linked with the vacant 2011 seat at Renault alongside his former BMW teammate Robert Kubica, and at Hockenheim was actually spotted inside the Enstone based team's motor home.

Heidfeld confirmed that a return to the grid in 2011 means he will have to leave Mercedes.

"Yes," he admitted. "In the near future it will not be possible to be a race driver (with Mercedes) so I am having to look elsewhere."

Heidfeld revealed that he is not yet close to a deal.

"Unfortunately no, not yet," he said.

"We are in talks with almost all the teams that have a cockpit for next year open. I was a bit surprised this year how early the top seats were confirmed so now we're having to look at what is still available."

Heidfeld in talks for 2011 race cockpit return