September 16, 2010
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Nick Heidfeld, at the recent test for Pirelli in Jerez, will be replaced by Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean will take over tyre testing duties at the Pirelli squad, as next year’s Formula 1 tyre suppliers claim they don’t want to unfairly hand an advantage to teams interested in Nick Heidfeld, who has gained significant experience from testing these tyres already.
Heidfeld was announced as Pedro de la Rosa’s successor at the Sauber team on Tuesday, and many rumours claimed this was because of his testing with Pirelli. Paul Hembery, motorsport director of Pirelli, explains that they wan to avoid “favouring any individual team”:
"We’d like to thank Nick for his very valuable contribution to
our tyre development programme and we wish him all the best for
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
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."
Romain Grosjean took over from Nelson Piquet Jr after the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, but, like Piquet, failed to score a single point throughout his racing time that season. Despite the fact that he only had a few races’ experience in F1, and at times was only 0.3 seconds off Fernando Alonso, he was dropped from the team for 2010.
It’s good to see Grosjean get the opportunity to return, as he never got a fair chance at Renault last year.