Pirelli has declared itself pleased with its latest tyre test ahead of the 2011 F1 season.
Following an initial run at the Mugello circuit in Italy, Pirelli headed to Paul Ricard earlier this week to complete a second two-day test as it works on developing the new rubber it will use for its return to F1.
Nick Heidfeld was again at the wheel of the 2009-Toyota being used by Pirelli during its testing, with the German completing a series of runs on a high-speed configuration at the French circuit, enabling Pirelli engineers to assess the performance of the tyres under extreme loading as well as through slower and more technical sections.
Pirelli will now head to Spain for its latest test, with motorsport director Paul Hembery insisting it was ahead of schedule with its plans for next year.
"We're very happy with the progress we've made so far, which actually puts us slightly ahead of where we expected to be at this point in time," he said. "We worked through an initial development programme that has given us a useful insight into the performance of our prototype tyres under a wide range of conditions, corners and speeds.
“We've been hugely encouraged by what we've seen up to now, and that's been helped by both Nick's clear and precise feedback, as well as all the different possibilities afforded to us by the Paul Ricard circuit."
Giorgio Pantano was also in action as he worked on testing of Pirelli's new GP2 tyre.