Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pedro De la Rosa Acquaints with Test Driver Role at Ferrari

Photo credit: Ferrari North America

Driving a Ferrari on the road or competition is dream of any motorist. Turning 42 years old next month, Spanish Formula 1 driver Pedro De la Rosa has been adapting to a new position as a development pilot for the Scuderia Ferrari team.

A mainstay in the Formula 1 paddock since the late 1990s. A champion from auto racing series in Spain, Britain and Japan, De la Rosa first operated as a test driver for the Jordan Grand Prix team in 1998 before being drafted to pilot an Arrows Formula 1 car the following year. Pedro De la Rosa also has also been active in season-long stints with Jaguar Racing and the Sauber F1 team. However, much of the Spaniard's Formula 1 involvement has been on the testing and development side of the short-lived Prost Grand Prix and most significantly McLaren Mercedes.

The highlight of Pedro De la Rosa's Formula 1 career was a stint in 2006 with McLaren. Serving as the organization's test driver for several years, De la Rosa was promoted to active competition when a falling out occurred with the McLaren Mercedes team and their regular driver Juan Pablo Montoya. De la Rosa had previous stepped-up as a replacement driver for Montoya when the Columbian was injured in 2005.  Running the final eight events alongside Kimi Raikkonen, De la Rosa ran favourably finishing a career-best second in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Despite formidable runs, Pedro De la Rosa had never received a permanent competition spot in a top Formula 1 driving team. Last season, De la Rosa drove for the back-marker HRT F1 team. 

Pedro De la Rosa defined his career change at the “Beca Santander Jovenes Promesas” sponsor event as a chance to contribute substantially. “I’m starting a new phase of my life: for a driver it’s important to work with the big teams, especially because you can learn from the best engineers and professionals in this sport. I am proud that Ferrari had faith in me, especially as it means I will be able to help a Spanish champion, in the shape of Fernando Alonso.” said De la Rosa.

Having already seen Ferrari's new 2013 Formula 1 vehicle in the team's race shop, Pedro De la Rosa will be integral to the race preparation of the year's race car. When the new vehicle premieres at the Jerez circuit in February 8th, De la Rosa is slated to be the second person to drive the new Ferrari Formula 1 car after Felipe Massa christens it.

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