Pirelli has finally sorted its test car plan for this season, but wants to inform teams first about its intentions before confirming the details in public.
Formula 1's official tire supplier has been trying to find a replacement for the former Toyota car that it used throughout last year. But talks with teams about providing it with a 2010 car had failed to deliver a satisfactory outcome, and there was mounting frustration that a solution could not be found because it was vital it continues track testing as it prepares for some big changes with its 2013 rubber.
Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery confirmed on Thursday that he had finally resolved the matter, however, and that with a car in place he could now consider appointing a new test driver.
"In the next week or so, we will let you know [the identity]," he said. "We have to communicate with the teams first before we speak to you guys, but it is a good solution."
Hembery added that there was no shortage of drivers available to become its official tester, as he made it clear he would prefer an available driver with 2011 race experience – such as Jarno Trulli, Vitantonio Liuzzi or Adrian Sutil.
"You can imagine from a driving point of view our interest is having someone who has experience," he said. "We will evaluate our options, and take references from people who have worked with various drivers.
"It is an important decision for us, because you don't want somebody jumping in the car trying to show they should be in F1, drive flat-out and then spin a car every two laps – it is a very particular type of work that has to be performed."