Pirelli not giving up on Ken Block's Formula 1 test despite cockpit hitch
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, July 4th 2011, 11:05 GMT|
Pirelli is to keep pushing on with its plans to give Ken Block a run in a Formula 1 car later this year, despite the American proving too big to fit in the company's Toyota test car.
Block, who is as famous for his World Rally Championship exploits as he is for his Gymkhana videos, had been scheduled to test Pirelli's updated 2009 Toyota at Monza in August.
However, as AUTOSPORT revealed last week, those plans have hit an early snag after it was found Block's legs were too long for the Toyota cockpit - and meant he could not turn the steering wheel.
Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery has said that the company is now looking for a larger car for Block – and has not ruled out approaching current outfits to see if they can help.
"We are still looking for alternatives," Hembery told AUTOSPORT. "We are trying to find a team that has had a long-legged driver. I think we need to speak to Red Bull Racing, because Mark Webber is a tall guy.
"Obviously it is slightly embarrassing, because we hadn't quite foreseen that Ken was that big, and he doesn't look that big – but he obviously is long legged. We need to solve it."
Hembery said that Pirelli was determined to ensure the test happened, because it felt F1 would benefit tremendously in the American market from having Block try grand prix machinery.
"We want it to happen," he said. "We are trying to promote F1. Ken is huge in the US and we need to get more interest in F1 in the US, and he will help that by doing these sorts of things.
"All sports can learn from some of the work he has been doing, with the Gymkhana videos and the downloads. F1 should look at Ken's approach and see the good things he does – and maybe there are some things we can adapt for F1 going forwards."