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Pirelli secures 2010 Renault as test car

ESPNF1 Staff
March 7, 2012 « Montezemolo expects answers at Ferrari | Ecclestone hopes for Hamilton revival »
The Renault R30 raced in 2010 and will now be used as a Pirelli test car © Getty Images
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Pirelli has secured a 2010 Renault Formula One car to help develop its tyre range at private tests.

Since joining the sport in 2011 Pirelli has used a 2009 Toyota, but the TF109 can no longer generate the same levels of downforce as current F1 cars and is not capable of completing a race distance on one tank of fuel as it was developed when in-race refulleing was legal. The Renault R30 will be upgraded to bring its performance closer to the 2012 cars, but, in order to remain impartial, the Pirelli test team will work completely separately from all of the F1 teams .

"It was clear from an early point that we needed a more modern solution for our test car, as while the Toyota TF109 has served us extremely well, it is now three years old," Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said. "Technology as well as the regulations have moved on considerably since then, and the Toyota is no longer able to generate the same sort of forces that we need to simulate in order to meet the current requirements of Formula One.

"At the top of our agenda is the need to treat the teams entirely equally, which is why the test team will be run independently and all the teams will be able to send an observer to the tests. Our new test car will be running to current fuel regulations, with no refueling, so we will be able to simulate a full race distance and the change in balance with the car and tyres.

"The final piece of the jigsaw will be to recruit a test driver, and we hope to announce this within a month. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Toyota, who have given us exceptional support as we developed our range of tyres for 2011 and 2012. They have played a significant part in our achievements in Formula One to date, and now we look forward to building on this in the future with a new range of tyres."

Pirelli is planning four to five tests over the course of the year in Barcelona, Jerez, Spa and Monza with the first take place in May. Pirelli added: "All of the current teams will be invited to send one observer to each test, although no data or other information about the test programme will be supplied."