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Grosjean to replace Heidfeld as Pirelli tester

ESPNF1 Staff
September 16, 2010 « Renault Roadshow to hit streets of Seoul | »
Romain Grosjean will test Pirelli tyres at Monza © Sutton Images

Pirelli has recruited ex-Renault driver Romain Grosjean to replace Nick Heidfeld as its tyre tester at its next outing.

Pirelli is set to return to F1 next year as the official tyre supplier and has recently been conducting tests with a 2009 Toyota F1 car. Heidfeld completed his last test with the Italian firm on Thursday before starting work as a Sauber race driver on Friday. Pirelli will replace him with Grosjean to avoid a conflict of interest.

"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," Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembrey said.

"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."

Pirelli reported another successful two-day test at Jerez this week and will head to the high-speed Monza for its next outing.

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

Grosjean started the 2010 season in the GT1 Series, but has since competed in three GP2 race weekends where his best result was a podium at the Spa Francorchamps feature race. Whether he becomes a permanent tyre tester remains to be seen.