Pirelli has confirmed Pedro de la Rosa as its official test driver for the upcoming development tests in preparation for the Italian manufacturer's return to F1 next year.
As revealed last week, the Spanish driver was already scheduled to carry out testing for Pirelli alongside Frenchman Romain Grosjean. Now the Italian tire supplier has confirmed de la Rosa has become its official tester.
The Spanish driver was left without a racing drive after Sauber decided to replace him with Nick Heidfeld for the last five races of the season. De la Rosa was confirmed in his new role at a press conference near Istanbul on Monday.
"I'm really pleased to be joining Pirelli," said de la Rosa. "Tire testing is something that I have always enjoyed as it is a very big challenge, especially in Formula 1. The information you can get from telemetry and sensors is valuable, but nothing replaces the individual feeling of a driver with new tires, so I hope I can be a real asset to Pirelli.
"There's not a lot of time left and a huge amount of work to do, but I'm very much looking forward to it and I am sure that our collaboration will be a success. A lot of useful work has been done already and now we have the opportunity of taking it forward."
De la Rosa will start testing for Pirelli in early October in Spain, although the Italian company did not specify the circuit. Grosjean, meanwhile, completed two days of testing at Monza last week, concentrating on defining the construction of the tires. Pirelli said the tires stood up to the challenge very well.
"Romain jumped in to do some durability testing and did an excellent job," said Pirelli's Motorsport Director Paul Hembery.
"The objective of this test was to confirm the structural specification of the tires we will use for the first time at the test in Abu Dhabi, and we now move on to working on our rain tires and compound definition."