Pedro de la Rosa has been allowed by McLaren to take part in Pirelli's key private test in Turkey that is scheduled to take place next weekend.
Formula 1's new tire supplier wants to ensure that its products are well-suited to the intense demands of the Istanbul track– as it eyes evaluation of a new hard compound for this year's race plus further developments for 2012.
And although de la Rosa has recently signed a reserve driver deal with McLaren, Pirelli has made no secret of the fact that it wanted the Spaniard to run one last time at a private test because he has the most knowledge of its preparations.
"I've written to the tire working group advising them that Pedro will be doing that test," Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery told AUTOSPORT. "I haven't had any negative feedback from them.
"We need to use him actually. He drove the car last year and we have modified the Toyota very heavily, going outside of the current regulations to create much higher downforce. The objective of that is to try and replicate 2010 downforce levels.
"From what I understand, the cars here are close to the end of 2010 levels – which is extraordinary, considering the number of changes we have had. So we need him to tell us the differences between the car then and the car now, and we will go through a screening of the current products and work with the new products."
Hembery said that his company had decided to test at Istanbul because its high-speed Turns 8 and 9 were particularly tough on tires.
"The test is about working primarily for 2012, and we are working on new products, too. It is also a check for us for Turkey because Turns 8 and 9 at Istanbul are a big challenge. I am not talking compound but structurally. We want to go there and have a double check to be sure."