Pirelli denies Maldonado test reports
11 May 2016 – Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has denied rumours that it has hired Pastor Maldonado as a test driver.
Last month, the FIA's World Motor Sport Council gave Pirelli the green light to carry out extra testing prior to the 2017 regulation overhaul, which included sampling prototype tyres on 2013 or 2014 cars.
Various media outlets stated that Maldonado, who lost his seat at Renault ahead of the 2016 campaign, had signed on as a test driver, but the Italian manufacturer has moved to quash the reports.
"News stories that claim we have appointed a test driver: not true," read a Pirelli statement.
"Until late July or August, when current cars will be used with the first 2017 larger tyre prototypes, we will be using modified older cars from teams, who will mostly nominate their own drivers to carry out testing."
Pirelli recently commenced its 2017 tyre testing with the help of Jean-Éric Vergne and Ferrari, the former Toro Rosso racer getting behind the wheel of the 2014-spec F14-T at Fiorano last Tuesday.
Vergne tested 2016-size tyres, but with a number of prototype elements for 2017.