Pirelli May Ask Raikkonen to Test F1 Tires

Pirelli is moving fast to securing a successful entry in the 2010 Formula One championship as a sole tire supplier, as the Italian maker seems to have already set up a decent testing plan for their 2011 tires. And, according to some media reports, former F1 champion and current WRC driver Kimi Raikkonen seems to be part of those plans.

Earlier this month, after signing the 3-year deal with Formula One, Pirelli announced that it would supply each team with two different sets of tires for a special test after the season finale at Abu Dhabi. The testing actions would be conducted on the Abu Dhabi race track also, with the data later gathered by Pirelli and used for creating safer and ultra-developed race tires for the series.

However, since the Abu Dhabi race takes place in November, there is still a long period of time that needs to be maximized by Pirelli. While some of their maiden tests will be conducted using GP2 cars – they will also supply tires to the GP2 Series starting 2011 – the Italian company is rumored to “borrow” a former BMW or Toyota F1 car for further testing.

The reason for using those cars and not a current F1 challenger is not to create an advantage for an existent F1 team. And since using a test driver that is currently employed by one of the 13 teams in F1 is also out of the question, Pirelli's racing boss Paul Hembery thought of Raikkonen. This way, Pirelli would still benefit from the extensive experience of a former F1 champion and keep an equidistance towards the F1 outfits.

The rumor was launched by Finland's Turun Sanomat, and it would make a lot of sense since Pirelli is also supplying tires to the WRC (the series where Raikkonen is currently active). Asked about such a prospect, the Finn's manager Steve Robertson avoided to give a negative answer.

Currently, Kimi is totally focused on what he is doing. But if Pirelli approaches us, of course we will discuss it. Then, it would depend on whether Kimi is interested in this sort of challenge, and how it would fit into his schedule,” said Robertson.
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