F1 News: Pirelli prepare to test next season’s F1 tyres

By Gareth Llewellyn
pirelli tyres
Pirelli will supply Formula 1 with its tyres from 2011

pirelli tyres

The Sport Review’s round-up of all of the latest news from the world of Formula 1.

Pirelli are expected to begin their testing programme for next season’s Formula 1 tyre compounds later this month at Mugello. The Italian marque, who won the contract to supply the sport’s tyres from 2011, are expected to use Mercedes’ third driver Nick Heidfeld in Toyota’s TF109 car for F1 testing.

Lotus Racing will give a day of aero testing to 16-year-old Malaysian driver Nabil Jeffri in September. Jeffri is currently fifth in the Formula BMW Pacific for Eurasia Motorsport, and follows compatriot Fairuz Fauzy in receiving an opportunity to test for the F1 team.

Renault will give Russian rookie Vitaly Petrov “as long as possible” to prove he deserves a new deal for 2011. Petrov has impressed in the second half of the season following a difficult start. The French team have been linked with a number of drivers to partner Robert Kubica for next season, including Force India’s Adrian Sutil, Mercedes’ Nick Heidfeld, as well as former Renault and current Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen.

Nicholas Todt may not be entering F1 in 2011 as the 13th team with his GP2 outfit ART, but the son of FIA president Jean Todt, is working hard to get two drivers he manages a race seat for 2011 with current F1 teams. Sauber have been linked with PDVSA-backed Venezuelan GP2 driver Pastor Maldonado, while GP2 front-runner Jules Bianchi already has a Ferrari development contract and is well-fancied to make the step up to F1 next season.

Fiat subsidiary Magneti Marelli is offering KERS for $1million a year from 2011 as the energy recovery technology makes a return to F1 next year. Magneti Marelli were the electronics specialists behind Ferrari’s KERS in 2009. Ferrari-powered Sauber and Toro Rosso, as well as Red Bull and Renault are all believed to be in talks with the outfit, while new teams Lotus, Virgin Racing, and HRT could also sign up before the end of 2010.

Lotus Racing are understood to be closer to a deal with Renault to receive customer engines for 2011. Confirmation is expected during the F1 August summer break, despite Renault rubbishing rumours at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Renault have already expressed a desire to expand their customer engine programme in 2011, and previously supplied the original Lotus team with engines between 1983 and 1986.

The Korea International Circuit has unveiled its emblem despite further talks that the race will be shelved for 2010. The design is inspired by the Korean flag, and incorporates the chequered flag. Korea Auto Valley Operation CEO, Yung Cho Chung, said: “The Yin and Yang elements of the Taegeukgi represent perfect balance and give our emblem a local aesthetic, while the modern design reflects our technologically-advanced new motorsport facility.”

McLaren Automotive have revealed their new supercar: the McLaren MP4-12C. The MP4-12C will be the first in a series of new high-performance sports cars to challenge the world’s best sports cars. The car is 100 per cent McLaren, using designs and technologies developed across the McLaren Group companies, will be built in Britain, and will go on sale for between £125,000 and £175,000.

And finally…

F1’s new Austin circuit, the venue for the US Grand Prix from 2012, will cost a reported $180-200million to build. Construction of the purpose-designed 400,000 capacity grand prix facility will create some 1,500+ construction jobs, while the venue will employ up to 1,200 temporary workers on a race weekend, with 40 staff permanently employed year-round.

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