Time to say goodbye: Pedro De La Rosa

3 Feb

So what’s his F1 career been like?

Well since he was announced as Jordan’s test driver for the 1998 season Pedro has been a bit of an ever present either being a test driver or racing. DLR was signed to race for Arrows in 1999 but reliability problems were strife with Pedro only finishing 5/16 races, but his debut was a marvel finishing 6th in Australia. In 2000 DLR stayed on with Arrows and although reliability wasn’t much better (6/17) he did get two points finishes this time (Europe and Germany). Despite these points finishes Arrows decided he didn’t merit a place for them in 2001 so DLR joined Prost as test driver before joining Jaguar after Jaguar fell out with Luciano Burti after just 4 races. This let DLR collect two more points finishes, enough for Jaguar to keep him on in 2002, but 2002 was a poor season for the Spaniard and as such Jaguar cancelled his contract a year early at the end of the season. After that DLR was signed by McLaren as their test driver, a role he would hold for the next 7 years, during which time he replaced Juan Manuel Montoya for the 2005 Bahrain GP (Montoya had a shoulder injury), not only did Pedro manage to finish 5th but he also set the fastest lap. Whilst a year later De La Rosa was brought in for the last 8 GPs of the season after Montoya announced he was leaving to race in NASCAR and it was during this stint that DLR picked up his only podium, a 2nd place in Hungary as well as regularly finishing in the points.

Surely DLR must have felt an urge to leave McLaren during this time to compete regularly?

It did look like DLR would leave McLaren for the 2007 season to drive for the new Prodrive team but the team failed to make it back to the grid. But in 2010 he did leave to compete in F1 again, DLR teamed up with Sauber but after struggling to pick up points he was dropped before the end of the season in favour of fellow F1 veteran Nick Heidfeld. As a result of this Pedro went back to being the McLaren test driver for 2011, despite this DLR did race for Sauber again in Canada in 2011 after Sergio Perez was still recovering from his crash in Monaco. In 2012 DLR had another attempt at racing competitively with HRT but sadly the car wasn’t anywhere near capable of ever challenging for points and it was testament to Pedro’s ability that he was able to sometimes out-qualify the Marussias. At the end of 2012 DLR left F1 and Pedro has since failed to be signed by another team.

So what will De La Rosa do now? Go back to being a McLaren test driver?

Actually no, he’s going to branch out and test drive for Ferrari instead, and he’ll be driving the car at the season’s opening test in Jerez.

Do you think he’ll ever be back competing?

Maybe as a injury replacement but I very much doubt that he’ll ever get another shot.

How do you rate his F1 career?

6/10 Pedro has clearly had potential but has very rarely had a car good enough or the chance to regularly race.


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