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GP Week : Issue 100
PIRELI concluded a further two-day test at Jerez last week, as it continued to push ahead with its aggressive tyre testing programme for next year's F1 return. Nick Heidfeld was on duty for his last outing before rejoining the F1 race circus with BMW Sauber in Singapore, and completed almost 200 laps at the wheel of the 2009 Toyota TF109 in dry and warm conditions. Pirelli says the objective of the test was to finalise development on tyre construction, prior to the next test in Monza in a week's time when most of the work in this area will be completed. At the same time, Pirelli's development engineers also tried out a range of different compounds, as they focus on preparing the four slick options that will be offered to all the Formula One teams next year. "The tests here at Jerez have gone extremely well and we completed all the work that we planned over the two days," said Paul Hembery, motorsport director at Pirelli. "Now we move onto Monza, where our task will be to finalise the construction before we focus further on compounds." Former GP2 champion Giorgio Pantano (right) was also on-track at Jerez during the week, testing Pirelli's GP2 tyres on the new- for-2011 GP2 car. Pirelli completes two-day Jerez test Grosjean replaces Heidfeld as Pirelli tester FORMER Renault F1 driver Romain Grosjean will replace Sauber-bound Nick Heidfeld as Pirelli's official F1 tyre tester at next week's test at Monza, after the German was released from his contract to return to race action from the forthcoming Singapore Grand Prix. It is not yet known if Grosjean will continue as Pirelli's test driver for the remainder of the year. Heidfeld has been Pirelli's official test driver since leaving Mercedes GP a month ago, and has completed three tests at Mugello, Paul Ricard and Jerez in the 2009-spec Toyota TF109. However, having secured his return to F1 racing with BMW Sauber from the next Grand Prix in Singapore, he has had to step aside: "We'd like to thank Nick for his very valuable contribution to our tyre development programme and we wish him all the best for the future," said Paul Hembery, motorsport director at Pirelli. "In order to avoid favouring any individual team, we have jointly decided to release Nick from his contract and now we have chosen Romain to test for us in Monza. "He's packed a lot of experience into a short space of time, including all our GP3 tyre development, so I'm sure he'll be able to give us some very useful feedback." F1 NEWS >> 10