Pedro de la Rosa rejoins McLaren as reserve

2011 F1 season

Pedro de la Rosa

Pedro de la Rosa has returned to McLaren as a test driver.

He will partner Gary Paffett as one of the team’s two reserve drivers.

De la Rosa previously worked for the team from 2003-2009, chiefly as a test and reserve driver. However he also raced for the team as a substitute in 2005 and 2006.

De la Rosa said: “Of all the teams I?ve driven for in Formula 1, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is the one that really feels like home.

“So I?m very excited about returning to the team to help push the development of the MP4-26.

Lewis [Hamilton] and Jenson [Button] already have an extremely positive and productive working relationship – so, building on and adding to their existing rapport, I’m aiming to do everything I can to help them get even more from our car, our engineers and our technical resources back at the McLaren Technology Centre.”

De la Rosa drove for Sauber for most of last year’s season, then joined Pirelli to do development work on their new F1 tyres.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “I know I speak for all my colleagues when I say that I’m delighted that Pedro has chosen to return to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

“He rejoins us with even greater experience, and his motivation and attention to detail remain as sharp as ever.

“His recruitment adds considerable strength in depth to our driver line-up.”

View the list of 2011 F1 drivers and teams.

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28 comments on Pedro de la Rosa rejoins McLaren as reserve

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th March 2011, 16:46

    They can use all the boosts they can currently get. If Pedro brings them that more close to getting the tyres to work as best as possible, he might be gold to them.

    Or maybe he might be discussing some setup things and try a few things with ‘Nando again? Might help them make the right development choices this time.

    Seriously, I think it is great McLaren let him have his chance at racing last year with Sauber. And they are right, he is all the better for it.

    • ManjuBoy said on 9th March 2011, 19:16

      Definitely. His experience with the Pirelli and long history with McLaren can be a big boost if they are struggling as much as people think.

  2. I’m surprised he didn’t join compadre Alonso at Ferrari. Still, it seems that McLaren need Pedro as much as Pedro needs McLaren, so a win-win move.

    • Ben N said on 9th March 2011, 16:58

      Indeed! I hope he can get a quick run out in the car this test!

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 9th March 2011, 17:26

      Ferrari’ll never get drivers who have a long history with a rival team.

      • Burnout said on 9th March 2011, 18:08

        What about Raikkonen? He spent 5 seasons at McLaren.

        • Fixy (@fixy) said on 9th March 2011, 18:45

          But he wasn’t so faithfully devoted to them, he said he wanted to end his career at Ferrari. And De La Rosa is a test driver, Ferrari are full of them (they kicked away Badoer) and not a great enough racer to make him a necessary choice for Ferrari.

          • Andy C said on 9th March 2011, 22:50

            Not sure the facts back that one up.

            Kimi stayed at McLaren for ages, but lasted not so long at Ferrari.

            And Fernando at Renault?

            Still agree PDR wouldnt join Ferrari.

        • Anthony said on 9th March 2011, 19:59

          What about Alonso… 5 seasons at renault.

      • They have a rich history of poaching drivers from their rivals. The biggest example is Alain Prost – who spent 6 years at McLaren before heading to Ferrari.

        • Fixy (@fixy) said on 9th March 2011, 21:57

          Ok ok I had to check before writing. I meant that Ferrari want loyal drivers, not ones loyal to McLaren (I don’t think they’d hire Ron Dennis).

  3. VXR said on 9th March 2011, 16:46

    Yes, he has some experience with the Pirelli tyre. But Button and Hamilton will know more than he does now.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 9th March 2011, 23:41

      Yeah, I’m not really sure why everyone’s made such a big deal of the running that De la Rosa, Heidfeld, and Grosjean had. The tires have undoubtedly changed a bunch recently, and the drivers that have the most experience with them now are the drivers who’ve clocked the most mileage in testing, i.e. the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers.

  4. Fixy (@fixy) said on 9th March 2011, 17:24

    Very nice the fact McLaren chose to bring him back despite they could’ve said he left the team to have a better opportunity (at Sauber) and it was his fault if he had no team to test for in 2011.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 9th March 2011, 18:46

      I wrote it a little bit complexly, I meant it’s good McLaren didn’t think Pedro was betraying them and they got him back.

  5. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th March 2011, 17:40

    Surely any understanding he had of the tyres has been diluted into the mix with all the other drivers?

  6. BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th March 2011, 18:26

    Nice comments from Pirelli about having to find a new test driver now:

    “It seems that every time Pirelli employs a test driver, they become immediately more attractive to Formula 1 teams – so maybe we should look at taking a commission on their future earnings from now on!”

    (from Anyone interested in a job, what about Di Grassi?

  7. Bad news. Pedro, leave that appallling outfit before it’s too late!!

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th March 2011, 21:31

    Perhaps a bit strong NW? ;)

  9. Andy C said on 9th March 2011, 22:53

    Excellent to have you back onboard Pedro. We need some of your development magic now more than ever! :-)

    Anybody read the report on racecar engineering on the Secret testing tunnel Ganassi use? How long until we see a similar facility in F1 I wonder :-)

  10. sato113 (@sato113) said on 9th March 2011, 23:20

    in that photo it looks like they’re using windows 98 on that computer!

  11. chun said on 10th March 2011, 0:35

    Have you seen this video of thousands of Chinese enjoy a good rock concert in a European band? It is certainly not what Tibet, and Al Jazeera is not going to broadcast … I do not think is as important as the issue of Libya and Gaddafi, but it’s fun to see how China can not censor a good concert style with Muse, Suede, etc …

    • Eric said on 10th March 2011, 1:43

      This is good news, in combination with Pedro returning to Mclaren it will certainly be the final piece that makes the MP4-26 a world beater.

  12. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 10th March 2011, 2:20

    Well his F1 career is over so that’s the best he could achieve now. His feedback will be very important to the team, as he have worked with them in the past I don’t expect any sort of problem with the team.

  13. Eggry (@eggry) said on 10th March 2011, 6:26

    if there weren’t testing ban, he could do much more job but now…I don’t know. test driving through simulator? helpful but not so much.

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