Nick Heidfeld has conceded that Michael Schumacher's comeback hurt his own Formula 1 chances for 2010, but remains upbeat he can secure a good option for his long-term future in the next few weeks.
The German had been favored to land a seat at Mercedes GP if negotiations between the team and Schumacher had not been successful. However, Schumacher's surprise F1 return has left Heidfeld facing an uncertain future, with speculation now linking him with both Renault or even a third-driver role at Mercedes.
On his website, Heidfeld admitted that Schumacher's decision had negatively impacted his prospects, but he said he had no bitter feelings about the situation.
"Of course, over the holidays my current job situation did not let go of me, even after Michael Schumacher's decision was published just before Christmas," he said. "This is certainly a great thing for Formula 1 and I wish good luck to Michael and Mercedes.
"This decision affects me directly because it means there is a relevant less space for next year. I am not naive when I say, especially after the past few weeks, a lot of unexpected things can happen in Formula 1."
However, Heidfeld said he would continue to push hard to find a seat for 2010 – and made it clear his focus was on going somewhere that would be best for his long-term career.
"Now we have to look forward and focus on the best long-term option for my future in Formula 1. I will continue to train hard, conduct talks with the appropriate people and to challenge my chance with all my might," he said. "I hope in the coming weeks to be able to announce something concrete about my future plans."