Former Renault driver Romain Grosjean has been appointed as Pirelli’s new tyre development test driver, replacing the Sauber-bound Nick Heidfeld.

Romain Grosjean is Pirelli's new tyre tester This announcement may come as a surprise to many – including us at Richard’s F1 – who believed that Pedro de la Rosa would be the ideal fit for the role.

With Heidfeld’s appointment to the Sauber team for the rest of the season, Pirelli elected the only logical option to cease his contract “to avoid favouring any individual team”.

Pirelli’s next test outing will be at Monza next week, and Grosjean will pilot the Toyota TF109 test car.

“He’s packed a lot of experience into a short space of time, including all our GP3 tyre development, so I’m sure he’ll be able to give us some very useful feedback,” Pirelli’s motorsport director, Paul Hembery, said.

The Swiss-born French national contested seven Grands Prix with Renault last season – replacing the sacked Nelson Piquet Jr – and was summarily outshone by team-mate Fernando Alonso. More recently, he replaced injured GP2 driver (and coincidentally, Renault current reserve driver) Ho-Pin Tung in the DAMS team.

[Original image via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.