Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. has hired former Renault Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean to replace Nick Heidfeld as its Formula 1 test driver in the wake of Mr. Heidfeld's being hired by the Sauber F1 team to drive in this season's final five F1 races.
Pirelli disclosed the hiring of Mr. Grosjean during its latest testing session at Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain. Mr. Grosjean, the 2008 GP2 Asia champion who drove in seven F1 races last season for Renault, was to begin driving the week of Sept. 20 when Pirelli takes its testing team to Monza, Italy.
Mr. Grosjean also did tire testing for Pirelli when the Italian tire maker was developing a race tire for the GP3 series that debuted this year in Europe.
Mr. Heidfeld, a former test driver with the Mercedes GP Petronas team, drove Pirelli's Toyota TF109 for the Jerez test session.
He was scheduled to join the Sauber F1 team Sept. 25-26 at the Singapore Grand Prix and finish out the season with the Swiss team.
Pirelli's Motorsport Director Paul Hembery thanked Mr. Heidfeld for his valuable contribution to the firm's tire development program and lauded Mr. Grosjean for his work on Pirelli's GP3 program.
Italian racer Giorgio Pantano also drove the new GP2 car at Jerez, which will run on Pirelli rubber next year as well.