Pirelli has underlined its dedication to Formula One by taking on two permanent test drivers for the first time to put its tyres through their paces.
Last season, Brazilian Lucas di Grassi carried out the role single-handedly, but this year he is being joined by Spanish driver Jaime Alguersuari.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director, said: “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.
“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.
“We’re going to be using the drivers for all of our single-seater testing activities, including GP2 and simulator development as well.
“Their input and expertise are sure to help us make even greater progress during the season, resulting in competition tyres that enhance the action further and new technologies that will eventually filter down to our Ultra High Performance road car products.
“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.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office