Nick Heidfeld has been named the official test driver for Pirelli tyres after being released from his role as Mercedes GP test and reserve driver. Pirelli will return to Formula One for the 2011 season as the sport's sole tyre supplier after Bridgestone decided to withdraw at the end of the current season and the German will begin testing at Mugello in Italy. "I would like to thank (Mercedes GP's) Ross Brawn, Norbert Haug and Nick Fry for allowing me the opportunity to become Pirelli's test driver," Heidfeld told the official Formula One website, www.formula1.com.
"The team has always said they will not stand in my way if such a chance arose and they have kindly allowed me to take up this new role." Mercedes GP team principal Brawn added: "Nick is an extremely experienced driver and we are confident that his racing knowledge and technical feedback will prove extremely useful to Pirelli and therefore the benefit of the sport as a whole." Heidfeld joined Mercedes six months ago at the start of the Formula One season as back up for drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.
The German has raced in 167 Grand Prixs during his career and appeared on the podium 12 times and claimed one pole position. * Agency