By Denna Bowman
Pirelli has announced its F1 tyres test drivers as it storms into the 2012 season.
Spanish driver Jaime Alguersuari has been picked up by the Italian tyres manufacturer after being left without a drive for this season when he was dropped by Toro Rosso.
Alguersuari will team up with Lucas di Grassi, who carried out the role single-handedly last year, and they will be using a 2010 Renault R30 for the testing programme, which includes four stints at Jerez, Spa, Monza and Barcelona.
The tests will be aimed at defining the 2013 range of Pirelli tyres.
Alguersuari, who has also joined the BBC as a commentator for this year, said: “I’m very happy indeed to have this fantastic opportunity.
“A week ago it was my birthday, when I turned 22, and now Pirelli has given me the best possible present.
“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 1 car again and return to competition, so this is a brilliant chance for me.”
di Grassi, who started 18 races for Virgin Racing in 2010 and was Pirelli’s test driver throughout the 2011 season, added: “I’m delighted to be back for another year with Pirelli after an extremely successful first season of collaboration.
“We learned a lot together and so we are both very happy to continue.
“This is a good opportunity for me to carry on the work that we started last year, which allows me to compare and contrast with all the tyres I have tested so far.
“These tyres are now a fantastic feature of Formula One.”