Lucas di Grassi becomes Pirelli’s official tyre tester

2011 F1 season

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Lucas di Grassi, Pirelli, 2011

Lucas di Grassi will become Pirelli’s official tyre tester and do five further tyre tests for them throughout 2011.

The tyre manufacturer also announced Di Grassi will make the first of a series of appearances at Silverstone to contribute to technical briefings and share information on the tyres.

Di Grassi, who raced for Virgin last year, said: “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.

“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.”

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Image © Pirelli

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “Lucas di Grassi becomes Pirelli’s official tyre tester”

  1. DiGrassi was said to be a good test driver by both Renault and Virgin, so it has to be a good choise.

    Will be interesting to see how this develops next year as well, with Pirelli asking the teams to come up with a solution to enable them to test the tyres on track with a more up to date car.

    I hope Di Grassi will be back in the picture as a competative driver in the future. Last year did not really give him any real chance to show what he’s got.

    1. We’ve seen keeping Petrov in his second season was a good choice, dropping a rookie after one year in a bad car isn’t wise and ruins the driver’s career. If he really has talent, I hope he comes back.

      1. Pirelli seem committed to doing whatever they can to help him get back in a race seat, based on comments Paul Hembrey has made to DiGrassi on Twitter.

      2. It does. Competitive business this F1 though!

      3. It does destroy a career and like you say Petrov is doing really quite well.

        There will be a number of rookies very envious of his position at the moment.

  2. To be selected by Renault shows he has got some talent, but I don’t know how much this will help him getting back into F1, because true he didn’t have the car to show what he’s got but D’Ambrosio has already showed himself a better driver this season.

    1. Eh? How is D’Ambrosio ebtter than Di Grassi?

    2. Eh? How is D’Ambrosio better than Di Grassi?

    3. Exactly. Sometimes I think a rookie needs to produce at least one special drive to cement their place in Formula 1 (assuming they’re not a pay driver! :P) but Lucas didn’t impress anyone last year.

      I don’t want to be too harsh considering the car he was driving, however.

      1. I honestly think di Grassi is a far better driver than d’Ambrosio. Custard has a lot of cash; di Grassi doesn’t. I believe if Virgin kept di Grassi, they would be closer to Lotus and HRT wouldn’t be as close as they currently are.

  3. It would be interesting to see the Pirelli car compete during FP1 at a few races. They could use it to test other tyres not being used at that race as well as those that are to allow comparisons.
    Plus it could be on track early on when most of the bigger teams don’t bother while they wait for the track to clean up/rubber in.

  4. Is is just me or does pirelli go through alot of test drivers?

    1. They always seem to choose guys I like too, DLR, Heidfeld, Di Grassi.

      1. I doubt the test drivers want long contracts since they’d rather be testing for a racing team or better yet as a starting driver.

    2. Not a bad thing. Basing your tyre development on one test driver could be quite dangerous and counter-productive.

  5. Very exciting news! :D

  6. I hope he do a good job but I still feel a experience test driver would have been a better option.

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