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GP Week : Issue 147
Having been given short shrift by Toro Rosso at a time when there were no F1 seats left worth the taking, Jaime Alguersuari astutely signed up with the BBC as a driver commentator with a view to keeping his face in the Formula One paddock. While the Spanish racer has become a popular addition to the F1 press room, the ex-Toro Rosso driver has had to suffer the indignity of being endlessly lectured on his future career options by journalists who have never sat in a Formula One simulator, let alone logged the miles on track. In Melbourne, Alguersuari spent over an hour being lectured to by one F1 journalist about the importance of GP2 to his future career goals. According to the scribe – who shall remain nameless – it was in Alguersuari’s interests to follow in Romain Grosjean’s feeder series footsteps if he wanted to reignite his F1 career. Little did he know that the Spaniard was already negotiating with Pirelli to get back behind the wheel as the Italian tyre manufacturer’s official test driver, a role that in two short years has given Nick Heidfeld, Pedro de la Rosa, and Romain Grosjean the chance to reignite their F1 careers. Pirelli confirmed this week that Alguersuari and ex-Virgin racer Lucas di Grassi had signed on as official test drivers; di Grassi is continuing the role he took on last season. The pair will share the driving duties at four in-season tests during which Pirelli will be assessing the compounds designed for use in 2013. After much searching, Pirelli recently announced that they had acquired a 2010-spec Renault – the R30 – to use as their test car, as the Toyota they had been using was out of date for their needs. While the focus of Alguersuari’s and di Grassi’s efforts will be on the 2013-spec tyres, both drivers may also be called upon to provide feedback on proposed modifications to the existing compounds, depending on whether or not the teams call for additional work to be done on this year’s rubber. ALGUERSUARI BACK IN AN F1 DRIVING SEAT... WITH PIRELLI. BRIEFLY » Another day, another driver rumour. But for possibly the first time this season, the chatter has not included a switch to that famous red racing suit. The story in question? Apparently McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton – a Mercedes-powered driver throughout his time in F1 – is considering a switch to the team with a link to the engine-manufacturer. But neither Hamilton nor Mercedes are playing along with the rumour mill. “I can dismiss that speculation out of hand, as it was only ever conjured by putting two and two together,” Mercedes’ Nobert Haug told Germany’s Sport Bild. “Lewis was and is a Mercedes man, but there are no agreements or conversations in that direction. At the moment we have one interest only – making our car as fast and reliable as possible, and then we'll see where we stand.” » At long last, a curtain can be drawn across the Sutil-Lux court battle, thanks to the news that Adrian Sutil has withdrawn his appeal against his conviction for the assault of Eric Lux. “I am very happy that I have been able to express myself to Eric Lux and don't have to go to court again,” Sutil told Germany’s Bild. “I don't want to have to go through another year like the one past. The topic is finished and I want to resume doing what I do best as quickly as possible — racing in Formula One.” Following the news that Sutil had dropped his appeal, Lux’s solicitors confirmed that they had dropped their counter-appeal. “We are very pleased that Eric Lux and Adrian have spoken and the topic is now closed,” said Manfred Zimmermann, Sutil’s manager. “From now on, we will concentrate only on the sport and do everything to get Adrian back in Formula 1.” 6 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> NEWS