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Pirelli to begin testing this week

NEWS STORY
14/08/2010

According to reports Pirelli is to begin its F1 testing programme on Monday.

Span's Diario AS claims that Nick Heidfeld will take to the track at Mugello in a 2009 Toyota on Monday as the Italian tyre manufacturer undertakes a three-day test.

Following the Mugello test it is understood that Pirelli will carry out further programmes at Jerez, Monza, Paul Ricard and then a further test at Mugello. At season end a full test is planned in Abu Dhabi, the first time that the 2010 teams will get to try the new rubber.

Heidfeld's role as test driver with Pirelli is likely to mean that the German has to stand down as test and reserve driver at Mercedes, otherwise rival teams would claim that the German team is getting 'inside knowledge'.

Pirelli this week admitted that it will be taking a conservative approach in terms of its compounds. The Italian manufacturer well remembers 1991 - its final year in F1 - when its qualifying tyres were widely regarded as the very best but the race tyres proved highly susceptible to degradation.

Speaking to Auto Bild this week, Pirelli's motorsport director, Paul Hembery, said: "Some people like to live in the past. Of course we had this problem, but what we had developed was a very aggressive qualifying tyre. In the last 20 years, the rules and technologies have changed significantly."

Currently supplying the rubber for the GP3 series, Hembery admits that this will give Pirelli valuable information as it looks ahead to 2011 when it will supply GP2 with rubbers as well as the F1 grid.

"We know the characteristics of many of the European tracks from GP3," he said. "The overseas tracks are largely unknown to us. We will therefore take an accordingly conservative approach to the selection of rubber compounds."

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