Pirelli has confirmed that Nick Heidfeld will leave his test role with the Italian company to take up his new job with Sauber.
He will be replaced by Romain Grosjean for the next test in Monza, although it’s not been confirmed who will continue the testing work after that, although inevitably Pedro de la Rosa – who brings current Bridgestone experience – had been mentioned. It remains to be seen whether Pirelli’s future customers, ie the teams, feel that Grosjean is the right man for such an important role.
Heidfeld finished his last Pirelli test at Jerez today, and his Sauber contract starts from tomorrow. Even it had been contractually possibly for him to do both jobs, the travelling involved in the upcoming five flyaways would have made it impossible.
Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery said: “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. 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. The tests here at Jerez have gone extremely well and we completed all the work that we planned over the two days. Now we move onto Monza, where our task will be to finalise the construction before we focus further on compounds.”