De la Rosa confirmed as Pirelli test driver 27 Sep 2010
As expected, Pirelli have confirmed Pedro de la Rosa as their new official Formula One test driver. De la Rosa takes over from Nick Heidfeld - to whom he recently lost his race drive with BMW Sauber - as the Italian firm gears up for its F1 return in 2011.
"I'm really pleased to be joining Pirelli," said De la Rosa. "Tyre testing is something I've always enjoyed as it's a very big challenge, especially in F1. The information you can get from telemetry and sensors is valuable, but nothing replaces the individual feeling of a driver with new tyres so I hope I can be a real asset to Pirelli.
Following their confirmation as F1s sole tyre supplier for next season, Pirelli carried out initial tests with Heidfeld. He was replaced at Monza last week by Frenchman Romain Grosjean, who will continue to test for Pirelli alongside De la Rosa.
There's not a lot of time left and a huge amount of work to do, but I'm very much looking forward to it and I am sure that our collaboration will be a success, added the Spaniard. A lot of useful work has been done already and now we have the opportunity of taking it forward."
De la Rosa, 39, was for many years McLaren's third driver, meaning that he has a wealth of Formula One experience, both past and present. He will take the wheel of Pirellis Toyota TF109 test car for the first time early next month, when their next round of tests begins in Spain.
Last weeks two-day Monza test was deemed a success by Pirelli, with the focus on defining the 2011 tyres construction. Grosjean completed a number of long runs consisting of 30 to 40 laps each, in order to check the durability and consistency of the tyre in warm conditions.
"Romain jumped in to do some durability testing and did an excellent job, commented Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery. The objective of this test was to confirm the structural specification of the tyres we will use for the first time at the (post-season team) test in Abu Dhabi, and we now move on to working on our rain tyres and compound definition.
Moving forwards, we will also be joined by Pedro de la Rosa, who has the benefit of having the most recent Formula One experience and is a renowned tester. So far, everything has gone according to plan and we're pleased to report that we are only about a second per lap off the times of our predecessors, which is a great achievement."
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