With the tyre-supply contract for F1 2011 looking now to be all-but a done deal, Pirelli is reportedly evaluating the possibility of conducting some development testing later this year with one of Toyota's unraced TF110 cars and Mercedes Grand Prix reserve driver Nick Heidfeld at the wheel.
Though no official announcement has yet been made, the pessimistic noises coming out of Michelin of late suggest that the duel between the French marque and its Italian rival to provide rubber to the entire grand prix grid next season has been settled in favour of the latter.
According to Italian magazine Autosprint
, a deal with Pirelli has been agreed with F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone, and all twelve current teams signed a letter of intent in Montreal last weekend. That means that all that is now required is formal ratification from governing body the FIA through the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC), which is scheduled to meet on Wednesday of next week.
Moreover, it is understood that Pirelli has engaged in talks with Toyota to use one of the Japanese manufacturer's uncampaigned 2010 machines for testing, once the green light has been given – thereby ensuring that no particular team gains any kind of advantage. Heidfeld is said to have already volunteered himself for the role.