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Alguersuari set for Pirelli debut
7 May 2012
Jaime Alguersuari is to make his debut as a Pirelli test driver in a private test this week at Jerez this week.
The Spaniard, who found himself without a race seat in F1 after being dropped by Toro Rosso over the winter, will be at the wheel of the 2010-spec Renault R30 for the test as Pirelli works on development of its tyres for the 2013 season.
Former Virgin Racing driver Lucas di Grassi will also be present for the test, which comes just days before the first European race of the F1 season in Barcelona.
That race will see Pirelli provide teams with the silver hard tyre and soft yellow tyre for the weekend – marking the first time in 2012 that there will be two steps between the compounds available.
“Barcelona is a track that is very stressful for the tyres but that's what makes it a great experience, where you really have to think about what you are doing,” he said. “The choice of the hard and the soft compound is going to make things very exciting as degradation is likely to be high and there is a lot you can do with the strategy.
“Turn three is the place that takes the most out of the tyres in terms of wear. It is a very, very long right-hander that is almost flat – depending on which car you have – and it feels like it is going on forever when you drive it as you can never see the exit. I have always liked quite a stiff set-up for Barcelona, with the car as low to the ground as possible, so you get the best response from the tyres.
“You need reasonably high downforce but in the end it always has to be a compromise because the lap is so varied. That's really the challenge of Barcelona: to get the most out of the car and the tyres at every point of the lap.”
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