- Tyre news
Di Grassi handed Pirelli role
Lucas di Grassi has been named as the new Pirelli test driver charged with helping to develop the 2012 tyres.
Pirelli has announced that di Grassi - who raced for Virgin last season - would be carrying out at least five tests in the Toyota TF109, and also would be present at some races in order to gather feedback from drivers and be involved in technical debriefs, starting this weekend at Silverstone.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said that di Grassi had proven himself in previous work with the manufacturer.
"A significant part of our tyre development stems from the feedback we receive from our test driver, so this is an absolutely crucial appointment," Hembery said. "Lucas has impressed us not only with his pace, which is vital if we are going to accurately simulate racing conditions, but also his technical feedback to the engineers. I'm delighted to welcome Lucas into the team."
Di Grassi said the deal was beneficial not only from a developmental point of view but also in allowing him time testing a modern day Formula One car.
"Pirelli has done a fantastic job so far in a very short space of time and I'm looking forward to helping to make the P Zero tyres even better in the future: not just for the drivers and teams but for the spectators as well," di Grassi said. "This is a great opportunity for me to get more time behind the wheel of a Formula One car - which is difficult these days because of the current testing regulations - and also to use my knowledge to help make a real difference to the sport."