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Final Pirelli test for Heidfeld, Grosjean to step in 16 Sep 2010

Nick Heidfeld during Pirelli tyre testing at Jerez, Spain, September 2010 Nick Heidfeld (GER).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 10 September 2010 Romain Grosjean (FRA) is competing with DAMS in the GP2 race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Saturday, 24 July 2010

Nick Heidfeld completed his final two-day test for Pirelli at the Spanish circuit of Jerez this week, ahead of his Formula One race return. With former Renault driver Romain Grosjean set to take over development duties for Pirelli, Heidfeld now heads to next weekend's Singapore Grand Prix where he will replace Pedro de la Rosa at BMW Sauber.

The German had already completed two tests - at the Mugello circuit in Italy and at France’s Paul Ricard - for the Italian tyre manufacturer, who will replace Bridgestone as Formula One racing's sole supplier next season. Grosjean will be in action for them next week at Monza.

"We'd like to thank Nick for his very valuable contribution to our tyre development programme and we wish him all the best for the future,” said Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery.

“In order to avoid favouring any individual team, we have jointly decided to release Nick from his contract and now we have chosen Romain to test for us in Monza. He's packed a lot of experience into a short space of time, including all our GP3 tyre development, so I'm sure he'll be able to give us some very useful feedback.”

Grosjean started 2009 as Renault’s third driver but was promoted to a Formula One race seat alongside Fernando Alonso mid season after the team dropped Nelson Piquet. He couldn’t match Alonso, however, with a best qualifying slot of 12th in Italy and a best finish of 13th in Brazil and failed to retain his seat. This season he has been competing in the GP2, FIA GT and Auto GP series.

Heidfeld’s last test for Pirelli was encouraging and over two days he completed 100 laps of the 4.43-kilometre Spanish track at the wheel of the Toyota TF109, which is being used for Pirelli's pre-season development. His main task was to help the engineers finalise development on tyre construction, but he also tried out a range of different compounds.

“The tests here at Jerez have gone extremely well and we completed all the work that we planned over the two days,” concluded Hembery. “Now we move onto Monza, where our task will be to finalise the construction before we focus further on compounds."

Pirelli’s return to the sport next season will see the Italian company compete in their first Grand Prix in two decades.

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