McLaren reserve Pedro de la Rosa set for final Pirelli test

Pedro de la Rosa has been allowed by McLaren to take part in private test in Turkey next weekend

By Gareth Llewellyn
pedro de la rosa
Pedro de la Rosa rejoined McLaren as reserve and test driver for 2011 Photo: Morio

pedro de la rosa

McLaren reserve driver Pedro de la Rosa will conduct a final test for tyre manufacturer Pirelli in Turkey next weekend.

The 40-year-old, who raced for Sauber in the first half of 2010, became Pirelli’s test driver after being dropped by the Swiss team, but rejoined long-term employer McLaren earlier this month after failing to secure a race seat for the new season.

The private test at Istanbul Park, home of the Turkish Grand Prix, will allow Formula 1’s new supplier the opportunity to evaluate its tyres against the unique challenge of turns eight and nine, as well as begin work on its 2012 models.

Speaking to Autosport.com, Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “I’ve written to the tyre working group advising them that Pedro will be doing that test. I haven’t had any negative feedback from them.

“We need to use him actually. He drove the car last year and we have modified the Toyota very heavily-going outside of the current regulations to create much higher downforce. The objective of that is to try and replicate 2010 downforce levels.

“From what I understand the cars here are close to the end of 2010 levels, which is extraordinary, considering the number of changes we have had.

“So we need him to tell us the differences between the car then and the car now, and we will go through a screening of the current products and work with the new products.

“The test is about working primarily for 2012, and we are working on new products too. It is also a check for us for Turkey because Turns 8 and 9 at Istanbul are a big challenge. I am not talking compound but structurally. We want to go there and have a double check to be sure.”

Pirelli works in partnership with former F1 team Toyota, who withdrew from the sport in 2009, using a modified version of their unused 2010 car to evaluate the tyres to be used for the next three seasons.

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