Heikki Kovalainen has become the latest driver to be linked to a testing role with Pirelli having lost his F1 race seat for the 2013 season.

The Finn left Caterham following three years after his deal with the Leafield-based outfit wasn't extended and is now facing up to a campaign on the sidelines with all-bar-one seat on the F1 having now been filled.

That fact could lead to Kovalainen now becoming the latest driver to sign up to aid Pirelli with it tyre development work, but only if the company can extend its deal to act as F1's sole tyre supplier.

"When everything has been resolved [with the future tyre deal], we will see what the situation is with our test drivers," Pirelli motorsport chief Paul Hembery was quoted as telling Turun Sanomat. "But Heikki would be an excellent candidate.

"He is a highly experienced driver. I really believe that he is one of the strongest candidates to be with us."

Lucas di Grassi, Jaime Alguersuari and Nick Heidfeld are amongst those to have tested for Pirelli in recent seasons.