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Pirelli encouraged by test progress

Nick Heidfeld, Pirelli testingPirelli believes that its Formula 1 tyre is already just one second per lap slower than the current rubber supplied by Bridgestone.

The Italian tyre manufacturer embarked on an aggressive development process once it was confirmed as the sole supplier to F1 from 2011-2013.

During that time it has carried out several on track tests with a 2009-spec Toyota, and it is pleased with the progress it is making.

"So far, our results have been encouraging," said Francesco Gori, CEO of Pirelli Tyre. "We have completed more than 4000 kilometres already, and we have good results.

"When you consider that the car we are using is from 2009, so it is not quite as advanced as the cars racing this year, we are about one second per lap slower than the current tyres.

"After just three months of testing, this is enough. Especially as Bridgestone has been in Formula 1 for 13 years."

Pirelli will continue its development work with Pedro de la Rosa and Romain Grosjean until the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where teams will get their hands on the new for 2011 tyres at a post-race test.

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