Pedro de la Rosa
Formula 1 driver
|Born||24 February 1971|
|F1 debut||Australian Grand Prix, 1999|
Pedro de la Rosa was a familiar face in the F1 paddock, starting his career in 1999 and driving for Arrows, Jaguar, McLaren and more. With the demise of the HRT team after 2012, Pedro was forced to take the step back to test driver, but moving up to the Ferrari team where he remained for two years.
The recruitment of a long-time McLaren test driver to full-time HRT driver was one of the more surprising announcements for the 2012 season. Pedro de la Rosa had been involved in Formula One for over a decade, but his association was largely as a reserve. His appearances in both 2005 and 2011 were one-offs, deputising for the regular drivers, and his 2006 season was only half duties to fill in for an injured Juan Pablo Montoya. His last role as a legitimate full-time driver before moving to HRT was in 2010, driving for Sauber but being replaced before the season came to its conclusion.
Handy to have around in a crisis - the Spaniard was loaned to Sauber to fill in for Sergio Pérez when he was feeling off-colour in Canada - it didn’t seem as though Pedro would return to F1 full time. His ability to get into the mindset required to race with what was apparently just ten minutes of warning was commendable, and he finished that Canadian Grand Prix just outside the points. You wouldn’t think that moving to HRT from the race winning McLaren team would be the ideal step for an older driver to make, but as it was races that Pedro wanted, then the only option was to take something of a step backwards.
Unfortunately for Pedro, after three years of racing, the HRT team folded at the end of the 2012 season, leaving De la Rosa without a race seat for the following year. He was forced back to the familiar test driver role, this time with Scuderia Ferrari. He supported the team in a development role for two years. Pedro has also been a test driver ahead of the inaugural running of the Formula E series.