Pirelli has finally confirmed the identity of its development drivers for the 2012 season, re-signing Lucas di Grassi to the role, but also announcing that it has secured the services of F1 outcast Jaime Alguersuari.
Both drivers will pilot Pirelli’s new test car – a modified 2010 Renault R30 – at four development tests this year at Jerez, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza and Barcelona. These tests will aim to further develop the 2012-spec tyres as well as the 2013 range of tyres that will be used in Formula 1, GP2 and GP3.
Di Grassi had previously competed a full season for the Virgin Racing team in 2010, while Alguersuari was surprisingly dumped from Toro Rosso’s line-up at the of 2011, after two-and-a-half seasons with the Italian squad.
Alguersuari since landed himself a role as a commentator for BBC Radio 5 Live alongside James Allen, while continuing to explore avenues to get back onto the Formula 1 grid as quickly as possible, and landing the Pirelli role could be just the ticket.
“A week ago it was my birthday, when I turned 22, and now Pirelli has given me the best possible present,” he said upon the announcement.
“I can’t wait to get started with this very important and challenging job of developing the new tyres for the future, which I’m looking forward to a lot. I have a huge desire to get behind the wheel of a Formula One car again and return to competition, so this is a brilliant chance for me.”
“Our commitment to providing the best possible spectacle in Formula One is underlined by the fact that we have two extremely fast and talented test drivers this year,” added Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery.
“Lucas will provide us with the reference point that we need from the development programme so far, while Jaime brings an extra dimension from his experience of racing at the sharp end of the field throughout the last three seasons.
“With opportunities for young drivers to drive a Formula One car so limited, this is a great chance for Lucas and Jaime to not only hone their testing and development skills, but also to potentially follow our former test drivers like Romain Grosjean, Pedro de la Rosa and Nick Heidfeld in returning to F1 or another top flight motorsport programme in future.”
READ OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JAIME ALGUERSUARI HERE (CLICK THUMBNAIL):
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