Lucas di Grassi is to test for Pirelli at Spain's Circuit de Catalunya in May, it has been announced.

The Brazilian, who made his debut at the pinnacle of the sport last season with Virgin, but who has been dropped this year after the Yorkshire-based outfit opted to bring in Jereme d'Ambrosio, replaces former Pirelli tester Pedro de la Rosa, who has now rejoined McLaren as the squad's third driver.

"Lucas di Grassi will take over test driving duties at the next test in Barcelona, scheduled for May," confirmed a statement from the Italian tyre manufacturer.

de la Rosa conducted his final test for Pirelli last week, where he ran with a new tyre, which the teams all had a chance to evaluate on Friday in practice ahead of this Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit, the second round on the F1 2011 schedule.

"Pirelli's experimental tyre for Sepang was developed at a test last week in Istanbul, which marked Pedro de la Rosa's last outing as Pirelli test driver before returning to his role as third driver at McLaren.

"Pirelli is running a parallel test programme this year alongside its first season in F1," added the manufacturer.