Pirelli acquire new F1 test car but yet to recruit driver

Robert Kubica, Renault R30

Robert Kubica drove the Renault R30 during the 2010 season

Mar.7 (PVM) Pirelli announced today that they have acquired a 2010 spec Renault R30 for tyre testing purposes, to replace the Toyota TF109 which the tyre manufacturer has used up until now and plan to announce a test driver before the end of the month

Pirelli said in a statement to media; “The 2010 Renault will be adapted to simulate the latest technical and aerodynamic regulations, as Pirelli develops new tyres for the future. With official in-season testing limited to one session at Mugello in May, a test programme with a contemporary car will play a vital part in Pirelli’s tyre development throughout the year.”

The Renault R30 was campaigned by Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov during the 2010 season.

The statement added, “In order to ensure complete impartiality, the test team will be run by Pirelli with no team member connected to any current Formula One team, in the same carbon black Pirelli livery as was used last year.”

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented, “It was clear from an early point that we needed a more modern solution for our test car, as while the Toyota TF109 has served us extremely well, it is now three years old. Technology as well as the regulations have moved on considerably since then, and the Toyota is no longer able to generate the same sort of forces that we need to simulate in order to meet the current requirements of F1.”

“At the top of our agenda is the need to treat the teams entirely equally, which is why the test team will be run independently and all the teams will be able to send an observer to the tests. Our new test car will be running to current fuel regulations, with no refueling, so we will be able to simulate a full race distance and the change in balance with the car and tyres,” explained Hembery.

On the issue of a test driver, Hembery revealed, “The final piece of the jigsaw will be to recruit a test driver, and we hope to announce this within a month. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Toyota, who have given us exceptional support as we developed our range of tyres for 2011 and 2012. They have played a significant part in our achievements in F1 to date, and now we look forward to building on this in the future with a new range of tyres.”

Pirelli are set to conduct five or six tests – probably in Barcelona, Jerez, Spa and Monza – with the first test due to take place in May, while the other dates are yet to be finalised.

All of the current teams will be invited to send one observer to each test, although no data or other information about the test programme will be made available.

Subbed by AJN.