giedo van der garde

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Reports: Maldonado working with Pirelli to develop 2017 F1 tires

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Ex-Williams and Lotus Formula 1 driver Pastor Maldonado is working with Pirelli to develop its new specification tires for the 2017 season, according to reports.

Both Autosport and motorsport.com reported earlier this week that Maldonado had agreed to work with Pirelli, and has already tested the new tires on a GP2 car at Mugello in Italy.

Maldonado was left without an F1 seat after his financial backing from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA fell through over the winter, ending his five-season stint in the series.

However, he now appears to be back in action, with Autosport also reporting that he is working alongside former Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde to develop the new tires using a GP2 car.

Van der Garde is balancing this role with his racing commitments in the European Le Mans Series and select rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship with Jota Sport.

Maldonado is still without a race seat, but this testing will help to keep him sharp as he continues to pursue new racing opportunities.

After gaining approval for increased testing in 2016 to design its new tires for next season earlier this month, Pirelli completed a private test with Jean-Eric Vergne and Ferrari on Tuesday at Fiorano.

The test was undertaken using a 2014 Ferrari car, meaning that it does not cut into the 25 days of testing Pirelli secured with current-year racers at the meeting with the teams and the FIA.