Pirelli have confirmed that former Virgin Racing driver Lucas di Grassi will help them develop their 2012 tyres.
The Italian manufacturer confirmed that the 26-year-old will conduct at least five tests with the company and would travel to some races in order to gain feedback from teams and drivers. Di Grassi’s first assignment will be at this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
The Brazilian has already conducted one test for Pirelli and both parties appear to be happy with the results.
“A significant part of our tyre development stems from the feedback we receive from our test driver, so this is an absolutely crucial appointment,” said Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery.
“Lucas has impressed us not only with his pace, which is vital if we are going to accurately simulate racing conditions, but also his technical feedback to the engineers. I’m delighted to welcome Lucas into the team.”
Di Grassi admits that the opportunity to get time in behind the wheel of an F1 car and stay up to date with developments is one too good to refuse.
“Pirelli has done a fantastic job so far in a very short space of time and I’m looking forward to helping to make the P Zero tyres even better in the future: not just for the drivers and teams but for the spectators as well,” said di Grassi.
“This is a great opportunity for me to get more time behind the wheel of a Formula One car – which is difficult these days because of the current testing regulations – and also to use my knowledge to help make a real difference to the sport,” he added.