Nick Heidfeld was the forgotten man of the 2010 silly-season, but he could be in the running for a coveted seat at McLaren or Renault.

The Abendzeitung newspaper reports that, with Lewis Hamilton pushing hard against the prospect of sharing a team with Nico Rosberg or Kimi Raikkonen next year, Germany's 32-year-old Heidfeld has emerged as a candidate.

"He is the most under rated driver in Formula One," McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh, likely to part with Hamilton's current teammate Heikki Kovalainen at the end of the season, is quoted as saying.

And Mercedes' Norbert Haug adds: "He (Heidfeld) brings over ten years of consistently strong performances."

Germany's Bild newspaper said Heidfeld, who debuted for Prost in 2000 and also raced with Sauber, Jordan, Williams and BMW although never winning a race, is also in the running for the Renault seat currently occupied by Romain Grosjean.