Pedro de la Rosa criticises McLaren driver equality

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Pedro de la Rosa, Hockenheimring, McLaren-Mercedes, 2006 | DaimlerSome people (myself not included) are sceptical about whether Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen are going to get equal treatment at McLaren this year.

So it was interesting to see Pedro de la Rosa not only confirm that they will get the same treatment but say he disagrees with the approach, in an interview for a Spanish newspaper:

In my view, a formula one team must have a leader and everyone should work for him, as happens in other sports such as cycling. That is the modern concept that should govern any team.

This statement clearly goes against what Ron Dennis practices, which Lewis Hamilton recently explained his support for. It makes me wonder about de la Rosa’s future at McLaren.

When I first heard that Fernando Alonso and de la Rosa had known about and discussed the confidential Ferrari information that led to McLaren’s exclusion from last year’s constructors’ championship, I wondered if either driver would keep their jobs. Alonso has since left the team, de la Rosa has stayed.

He’s been with the team as test driver since 2003 and although he’s made several race starts for them it appears he’s never been seriously considered for a long-term drive.

Following Heikki Kovalainen’s appointment to the race team de la Rosa said he’d like to return to racing again:

After what happened, my chances of racing for McLaren are small. Looking ahead, yes, I am thinking about some other series. I am eager to return to racing.

He’s also said he misses having Alonso in the team:

I personally miss him. Fernando is always a great contributor to a team; it is better to have him with you than to have him somewhere else.

Given this, and speculation that he and Hamilton don’t get on, could de la Rosa be about to leave McLaren?

Oh, and I don’t agree with him. I think some of the best champions have been those who beat world championship-class team mates in equal machinery. Ron Dennis wants world championship-class drivers in his cars, which is why de la Rosa will never get a long term race seat at McLaren.

More about McLaren