Following the demise of HRT, Pedro de la Rosa has been looking for a job. And now he has found one. Perhaps HRT’s closure has worked out well for the Spaniard, as his new role is as test driver for Ferrari.
De la Rosa’s chief task will be simulator work, for which he should be well prepared after a long stint as test driver for McLaren, during which time he worked with Fernando Alonso in 2007. Additionally, the Spaniard has raced for Arrows, Jaguar, McLaren, Sauber and HRT, in the process earning valuable racing experience. Aside from his roles within race teams, de la Rosa was Pirelli’s test driver during 2010 after losing his seat at Sauber to Nick Heidfeld midway through the season, which will have given him a unique perspective on the behaviour of Pirelli’s tyres.
Unfortunately for de la Rosa, he is unlikely to spend time on track in the 2013 Ferrari, as in-season testing is banned and pre-season testing limited to just 12 days this year. Race drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will doubtless take care of all 12 testing days, which leaves de la Rosa spectating when not in the simulator. Nonetheless, there is always the possibility that one of the race drivers could become unavailable for a race, which might result in de la Rosa realising every driver’s dream of racing for Ferrari.
De la Rosa on his new role: “It is amazingly motivating to be working for a team like Ferrari, not just because of what it represents in the history of Formula 1 and motoring in general, but also because it will be a completely new and very stimulating experience for me… I really hope I can get to work as soon as possible and to help in the development of the car. I am happy to be collaborating with Fernando again and also to be working with Felipe. There’s not much time until Australia, but there is a lot to do and I am available to help the team from right now.”