Maldonado helping Pirelli with 2017 F1 tyres
Pastor Maldonado has been helping Pirelli with the first stage of its 2017 Formula 1 tyre development work, Motorsport.com has learned.
The former grand prix driver, who lost his seat at Renault over the winter following sponsorship issues with backer PDVSA, drove a GP2 car for the recent tests.
His two days of running at Mugello, and then a single day at Barcelona, involved evaluating GP2 construction tyres but with some early prototype compounds for 2017.
With those tests complete, Pirelli now wants to move on to some work with 2014 F1 cars, which will involve at this stage four teams: Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and Renault.
McLaren, which has also signed up for the test programme, is unable to assist in this bit because it was powered by Mercedes that year so its car/engine package is no longer available.
From August, Pirelli plans to move on a hybrid specification of car that will be a 2015 chassis, but with mechanical changes and aerodynamic parameters that will simulate as much as possible the 2017 car performance levels.
One of the issues that has come up since F1 approved Pirelli's testing deadline is the difficulty in finding tracks that are available.
It is understood, therefore, that the next test will take place in the coming days at Fiorano with a 2014 Ferrari F1 car, potentially driven by Jean-Eric Vergne.
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