Pedro de la Rosa takes to the F1 track as Pirelli's newest test pilot

Jan. 1, 2020
Pedro de la Rosa has replaced Nick Heidfeld as Pirelli's official test driver as the tire maker gears up for its return to Formula One racing. Heidfeld has joined the Sauber racing team.
Pedro de la Rosa has replaced Nick Heidfeld as Pirelli's official test driver as the tire maker gears up for its return to Formula One racing. Heidfeld has joined the Sauber racing team.

Another test driver, Romain Grosjean, will remain with Pirelli alongside de la Rosa.

All of the tires used next year in Formula One, GP2 and GP3 will be produced at Pirelli's plant in Izmit, Turkey near Istanbul.

"The 39-year-old de la Rosa has raced for Sauber this year, and was for many years McLaren's third driver, meaning that he has a wealth of Formula One experience from both the past and present," according to motorsports director Paul Hembery.

"I'm really pleased to be joining Pirelli," says de la Rosa.

 

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"Tire testing is something that I have always enjoyed as it is a very big challenge, especially in Formula One. The information you can get from telemetry and sensors is valuable, but nothing replaces the individual feeling of a driver with new tires, so I hope I can be a real asset to Pirelli," he elaborates.

"There's not a lot of time left and a huge amount of work to do, but I'm very much looking forward to it and I am sure that our collaboration will be a success," says de la Rosa. "A lot of useful work has been done already and now we have the opportunity of taking it forward."

Pirelli recently completed two days of testing at Monza in Italy, concentrating on defining the construction of the new Formula One tires.

Grosjean did a number of long runs consisting of 30 to 40 laps each to check the durability and consistency of the tire in warm conditions. Giorgio Pantano continued to test the new GP2 car, which will also run on Pirelli P Zero tires next year as well as its feeder GP3 Series.

"Romain jumped in to do some durability testing and did an excellent job," says Hembery. "The objective of this test was to confirm the structural specification of the tires we will use for the first time at the test in Abu Dhabi, and we now move on to working on our rain tires and compound definition."

 

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Hembery goes on to report that "moving forwards, we will also be joined by Pedro de la Rosa, who has the benefit of having the most recent Formula One experience and is a renowned tester. So far, everything has gone according to plan and we're pleased to report that we are only about a second per lap off the times of our predecessors, which is a great achievement."

Pirelli's next round of Formula One tests is set for Spain, where de la Rosa will take the wheel of a Toyota TF109 for the first time.

For more information, visit www.us.pirelli.com.

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