Pirelli dismisses reports linking Maldonado with test driver role

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Pirelli has dismissed a recent set of reports linking ex-Formula 1 drivers Pastor Maldonado and Giedo van der Garde with development driver roles.

Last week, multiple outlets reported that Maldonado and van der Garde had been working with F1’s tire supplier to help develop its new compounds for the 2017 season.

Pirelli is set to introduce a wider, longer-lasting tire for the new campaign after striking an agreement for 25 days worth of testing before the year is out.

Maldonado has been without an F1 drive after his financial backing collapsed and cost him his seat with Renault, but was reported to be back working with Pirelli.

However, in part of its Spanish Grand Prix preview, Pirelli confirmed that it would not be appointing any test drivers until later in the year.

“News stories that claim we have appointed a test driver: not true as (until late July or maybe August, when current cars will be used with the first 2017 larger size tyre prototypes) we will be using modified older cars from teams, who will mostly nominate their own drivers to carry out the testing,” a statement said.

Jean-Eric Vergne conducted some running last week at Fiorano in a two-year-old Ferrari, while further tests are set to take place over the coming months.