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Di Grassi to test for Pirelli

ESPNF1 Staff
April 9, 2011 « Hamilton says Vettel partnership is possible | »
Lucas di Grassi raced for Virgin last year but lost his seat to Jerome d'Ambrosio this season © Sutton Images
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Pirelli has confirmed that Lucas di Grassi will take over the driving duties at its next private test session in Barcelona, now that Pedro de la Rosa has been signed up as McLaren's reserve driver.

Di Grassi raced for Virgin last year and is one of just a handful of drivers with recent F1 experience who is not affiliated with an F1 team in official way. He will start testing for the company in May at Barcleona as Pirelli continues to run a tyre development programme on its own ex-Toyota F1 car alongside the grand prix season.

"Brazilian driver Lucas di Grassi will take over test driving duties at the next test in Barcelona, scheduled for May," read a press release

The Italian tyre firm is currently working on a super-hard compound, which it tested with Pedro de la Rosa in Istanbul last weekend and ran during Friday practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix. But with Pirelli still targeting more exciting racing this season, its motorsport director Paul Hembery said it would be careful not to go too conservative and create a situation like last year where everybody opts for one-stop strategies.

"The drivers tried out the evolution of our hard tyres and their response was generally favourable, although we need to be careful that we don't end up with tyres that are too conservative," he said.