F1

Haug rules out Hulkenberg for another reserve job

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Another reported contender for Mercedes' vacant reserve driver slot has been ruled out. The German marque's head of marketing Joachim Schmidt this week said Mercedes is talking to potential candidates but seemed to rule out a third German to join...

Another reported contender for Mercedes' vacant reserve driver slot has been ruled out.

The German marque's head of marketing Joachim Schmidt this week said Mercedes is talking to potential candidates but seemed to rule out a third German to join Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.

"We already have two German drivers," he said when asked if 2010 reserve driver Nick Heidfeld - who later switched to Sauber but was not retained for this year - was in the running.

As Mercedes began testing its 2011 car the W01 at Valencia on Tuesday, motor sport vice-president Norbert Haug confirmed that the Brackley based team is looking for a reserve driver.

"He can do a lot of work in the simulator," he was quoted as saying in German reports, which named existing simulator tester and BBC radio commentator Anthony Davidson as a contender.

"It should be someone who can get into the points if one of our drivers cannot drive," insisted Haug.

"It has to be someone who can jump into the car and do a good job quickly.

"We are working on it and expect that we will have a reserve driver," added the German.

"We have a few ideas of who it will be -- there is no contact with Nico Hulkenberg," said Haug, amid rumours the 23-year-old might split his new Friday-driving role with Mercedes-powered Force India.

"He improved in the past year, and whoever wins in GP2 and is on pole position (in F1) has everything he needs. But we are not negotiating with him," he insisted.

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