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Pirelli keen to test with de la Rosa one last time

ESPNF1 Staff
March 17, 2011 « Ecclestone will fight 2013 engine regulations | »
Pedro de la Rosa did a large amount of the tyre development work on this year's tyres © Pirelli
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Pirelli would like Pedro de la Rosa to complete one last tyre development test, despite the Spaniard signing for McLaren as a test driver last week.

Pirelli will continue to develop its tyres at private tests this year using its 2009 Toyota chassis, which did much of the development work for the current tyres in the hands of de la Rosa, Nick Heidfeld and Romain Grosjean. De la Rosa has now returned to McLaren as a test driver, but Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery is keen for him to help out one last time.

"Our first tests are in April," Hembery told reporters at the final test. "Ideally I'd like Pedro to do those tests before he leaves us because I'd like some continuity. We've made some modifications to the Toyota this year to increase the downforce and I'd like him to compare it for us. After that of course I think it would create problems between the teams if you went forward. But we'd appreciate some sort of handover."

Pirelli does not want to be seen to be favouring one team over another by using one outfit's test driver long term.Hembery said it was now difficult to get the right calibre of driver.

"There are actually very few options because most of them are signed by teams not to drive," he said. "It's a bizarre situation, the teams have a lot of drivers but none of them can drive. Like Pedro, he's not going to drive anything - well, a simulator I guess.

"It's not ideal because there isn't a system in place for young drivers to drive Formula One cars, so we can't really pick up a young driver and equally you probably want someone with experience top give you the right input. For us it's not an easy one to resolve but we will find a solution."