By Alex Kapadia
Pirelli are keen to retain the services of their test driver Pedro de la Rossa for one last tyres testing session before he departs to McLaren.
The Italian tyres manufacturer has plenty of time to find a replacement, however it wants to stick with de la Rossa because he brings continuity to the tests.
The Spanish driver is returning to McLaren as their test driver, however, Pirelli have modified the Toyota chassis which are to be tested in Istanbul in April and feel his input is crucial.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli, said: “Our first tests are in April, and ideally I would like Pedro to do those tests before he leaves us – as I would like some continuity.”
He explained that the Spaniard’s continued input is vital because with the changes to the new chassis his feedback will make the testing more meaningful and help the team develop the car.
Hembery is keen for Pirelli to have its own test driver, especially in light of the fact that its tyres have come under fire from some of the teams during the run up to the 2011 season.