Di Grassi to be evaluated for Pirelli role

Former Virgin driver Lucas di Grassi will carry out Pirelli's next development test at Barcelona, AUTOSPORT can reveal, as the tyre firm searches for a replacement for Pedro de la Rosa

Di Grassi to be evaluated for Pirelli role

With de la Rosa having now returned to his old role as McLaren's reserve driver, Pirelli has been keen to find someone else with recent Formula 1 experience and a strong analytical reputation to carry out its test duties.

Di Grassi had a brief run in Pirelli's test car in Turkey last weekend, and will be properly evaluated in Spain next month.

"In May we are at Barcelona with the Toyota," Pirelli's motorsport boss Paul Hembery told AUTOSPORT. "Lucas di Grassi will be driving at that event. He came along to Istanbul Park last weekend. He didn't get much time in the car due to the weather interrupting our session, but he will come forward with us and we will see how we get on with him in Barcelona."

Hembery said the test would decide whether di Grassi was retained in the role for the longer term. The Brazilian lost his Virgin seat to Jerome D'Ambrosio at the end of last season.

"We have to learn. He has to learn about us and we have to understand his feedback levels," Hembery said.

"We now have a benchmark experience with three other F1 drivers. We will see how Lucas gets on.

"He is a competent driver and a likeable bloke, he has done a lot of testing in the past and he will see if he can make a good tyre tester for us."

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