Tag Archives: Pedro De La Rosa

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 competeĀ 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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Red Bull dominate despite stewards enquiry.

6 Oct

3 winners and losers of qualifying, Japan 12.

Winners:

  1. Sebastian Vettel: Vettel has had a very strong weekend, he was fastest in FP3 and followed that up by going quickest in qualifying which means that he’s started from pole 4 times in a row at Suzuka, from first on the grid Vettel will doubtlessly be looking to win and close the gap to championship leader Alonso. There is a chance Vettel could lose this pole position though if the stewards deem him to have held up Alonso.
  2. Kamui Kobayashi: It was at this circuit in 2010 that Kamui showed to the world that overtaking can occur at any corner and yet again Kobayashi has upped his game for the home GP, qualifying in 4th is good enough, but due to Button’s 5 place grid penalty (gearbox change) Kamui will start from 3rd on the grid. Would it be too much to hope for a Kamui podium?
  3. Pedro De La Rosa: since the introduction of new teams in 2010 there has been a hierarchy between the 3 but today that hierarchy was smashed apart, HRT qualifying higher than both a Marussia and more impressively a Caterham, you never know there may be some exciting racing going on between the 3 teams tomorrow.

Losers:

  1. Lewis Hamilton: With his championship dreams already damaged by his retirement in Singapore it could be shattered tomorrow due to him having to start from 9th, if he struggles to overtake early on he could be looking at the end of his chances in the championship.
  2. Mercedes: Do you remember the Mercedes who started the year looking so promising, even winning in China. Well a lot’s changed since then and Mercedes are now really struggling to put in good performances, neither driver made it to Q3 today and Schumacher also has a 10 place grid penalty, looks like a certain Lewis Hamilton may have made a bad decision.
  3. Felipe Massa: If you’re driving for the most prestigious team in Formula 1 and there’s every chance you’re going to be replaced you need to put in fantastic times in qualifying to make sure the management decide to keep you, sadly Massa refuses to listen to my advice and instead qualified 11th despite being 3rd quickest in FP3. But if Massa drives like he did in Singapore a top 6 finish isn’t out of the question.

Prediction:

Tomorrow’s race is set to be a crucial day for the drivers championship, if Vettel can get a clean start I fully expect him to win the race and I’d also say it’s likely that Webber will be finish 2nd. Who will finish 3rd is going to be much more of a guess, Kobayashi could do it if he drives like he did in 2010, Perez could do it if it’s a high degradation race, if Grosjean can make it past turn 1 he’ll have a chance and then there’s Alonso who will drive like a machine and thinks he could have qualified 3rd if it hadn’t been for yellow flags. Who will be on the podium? Only time will tell.

Lotus impress but still no victory

8 Jul

Driver ratings, GB 12, pt.2, HRT Lotus and Maussia

Pedro De La Rosa: 5/10 Q22 S21 F20

For 1 lap Pedro appeared to actually impress as Pedro capitalised on mistakes and accident to move up 2 places on lap 1. Sadly HRT bounced him back to reality, and all he could finish was 22nd.

Narain Karthikeyan: 4/10 Q23 S22 F21

If it weren’t for the money Narain wouldn’t be allowed near the racing seat of the HRT but F1 moves in mysterious ways and Karthikeyan is allowed to drive. Not that it means much though as he finished at the back.

Kimi Raikkonen: 8/10 Q6 S6 F5

Many expected his return to be like Schumacher’s and fail to deliver but Kimi has stormed back into F1 and added to his points tally at Silverstone. It was a really strong performance by Kimi to take home another 10 points and put himself in a great position for the championship, even better still he set the fastest lap..

Romain Grosjean: 10/10 Q10 S9 F6 #DriverOfTheDay

Romain drove fantastically all weekend, although a mistake at the end of Q2 saw the Lotus beached and left Romain unable to contest Q3, if he had we could easily have expected him to be around 6th. In the race though Romain made up for that spin, the first lap was marred by a slight touch with Paul Di Resta which saw Grosjean have to pit for a new wing, but Grosjean was a man possessed and he set fastest lap after fastest lap to storm his way up the field, if he hadn’t had that front wing pitstop I think he would have finished on the podium.

Timo Glock: 5/10 Q21 S20 F18

It was good to see Timo back after missing the Valencia GP with a stomach bug, but it was your typical ‘new team’ performance with Timo only coming home above team-mate Pic and the HRTs.

Charles Pic: 4/10 Q24 S24 F19

Charles started the season looking strong, but in recent weeks he’s tailed off and yet again Charles qualified behind the HRTs. Luckily Pic managed to make the car work in the race which helped him to finish above the HRTs in an uneventful race.

Romain Grosjean was so near but so far

24 Jun

Picture courtest of formulaone.com

Driver Ratings Europe 12, Pt.2, HRT, Lotus and Marusia

Pedro De La Rosa: 7/10 Q21 F17

HRT are at last managing to find some much needed speed , both HRTs qualified ahead of the sole Marussia and De La Rosa put in a strong performance to finish only 1 lap behind Alonso (although he was helped by the new safety car rules).

Narain Karthikeyan: 7/10 Q22 F18

A miracle saw Narain Karthikeyan set a lap faster than fellow back marker Charles Pic, and he was regularly not the last man on track due to other drivers suffering accident damage.

Kimi Raikkonen: 9/10 Q5 F2

Kimi had been looking promising all weekend, but his race started off rather drab. It was only after the safety car returned to the pits that Kimi really started to charge, profiting from the retirements of Vettel, Grosjean and Hamilton to finish 2nd and pick up his first podium since Monza 2009.

Romain Grosjean: 10/10 Q4 F ret.

Romain has really landed on his feet this season and yet again he was impressive in qualifying, but it was the race where he made hearts race. Romain overtook Maldonado in a hectic first lap but he took too long to pass the ailing Lewis Hamilton to start charging after Vettel. Romain would probably have been delighted with the safety car as it let him close the gap to Vettel, but the restart wasn’t good as Alonso overtook him at turn 2. Maybe Grosjean could have still won the race but we will never know as an alternator ended his race on lap 40.

Charles Pic: 7/10 Q23 F15

May have been outperformed by both HRTs in qualifying but Charles showed them that HRT still have a thing to learn from Marussia’s in the race. Maybe most amazingly Pic even finished ahead of Felipe Massa.

Timo Glock: – DNQ DNS

Timo Glock pulled out of qualifying and the race with a stomach bug.

Picture courtesy of formulaone.com

 

Vettel’s storming lap grants him pole

9 Jun

3 winners and losers of qualifying, Canada 12.

Whilst Vettel picked up his 32nd career pole position here are the other men who performed well and the guys who failed to perform.

Winners:

Felipe Massa: One of Massa’s strongest traits in recent years has been his ability to suddenly improve just when everyone’s calling for his head. This weekend Massa looked very strong again in his Ferrari, and his qualifying position of 6th could see him stand on the podium for the first time since the 2010 Korean GP.

Pedro De La Rosa: To be fair Pedro didn’t have much to live up to this weekend in his HRT but he put in a strong qualifying performance to start 21st on the grid ahead of both of the faster Marussia F1 cars.

Paul Di Resta: It was a very assured performance by the young Scot to take his under-performing Force India to 8th on the grid, only his second Q3 qualification of the season.

Losers:

Jenson Button: The excuse will be that he’s on a different strategy (which to be fair he is, JB will start on softs) but even so it’s a very poor qualification performance as he only just scraped through Q2 and isn’t a likely contender to get a podium tomorrow.

Nico Hulkenburg: I’s actually quite disappointed with Nico, he had pace in the practice sessions, finishing 6th, 8th and 10th but he failed to perform to his full potential in qualifying and will start from 13th tomorrow.

Kimi Raikkonen: whilst his inexperienced team mate qualified 7th the former world champion could only manage 12th, even if he was only 0.1 seconds slower. Kimi will have to perform better tomorrow if he wants a good result.

Driver Ratings, Monaco 12, Pt.2 HRT, Lotus and Marussia

27 May

Pedro De La Rosa: 5/10 Q21 S20 ret.

Pedro did quite well in qualifying even managing to qualify ahead of a Marussia but his race was short lived, he had to retire on the first lap due to an accident.

Narain Karthikeyan: 4/10 Q23 S22 F15

On paper it was a good result to finish 15th, but in reality it was dire. He was the only driver to be lapped twice and it was only that he was being lapped that he deserved to be on TV as he made a nuisance of himself.

Kimi Raikkonen: 6/10 Q8 F9

To be fair to Kimi he was definitely on a wet weather strategy and when that rain failed to come he was never going to repeat his podiums of previous races, but he failed to perform in qualifying as the increasingly quick Ferraris demoted him down the order.

Romain Grosjean: 7/10 Q5 S4 F ret

Romain’s race was over before it had begun as he was forced to retire on the first lap after a collision at turn 1. But it was a good weekend for Romain up to then, he qualified fantastically in 4th and maybe could have picked up a podium if he’s stayed in.

Timo Glock: 6/10 Q20 S19 F14

It was a good qualifying performance as he out qualified team mate Charles Pic, something he hasn’t managed as much as he’d have liked recently. Timo’s race was distinctly average despite rising 4 places on the first lap. Sadly the race couldn’t continue that momentum and he profited from a few late retirements to move up to 14th.

Charles Pic: 6/10 Q22 S21 F ret.

It was a shame that Charles couldn’t complete the race due to electric problem on lap 64, up to then he’d drove well, he gained 5 places on the first lap and running in a fantastic 16th place before retirement, and he’d have finished 14th if he hadn’t retired.

Driver Ratings, Spain 12, Pt.2 HRT, Lotus and Marussia

13 May

Pedro De La Rosa: 5/10 Q23 S22 F19

Another poor weekend. 23rd in all the practice sessions and then 23rd in qualifying, would he have finished so ‘high’ up without drivers retirements? Definitely not.

Narain Karthikeyan: 4/10 Q24 S23 Ret.

Very disappointing display by Narain, missed 107% by a country mile to ensure he’s been the slowest driver in every qualifying session and then did very little (except get in the way) come the race.

Kimi Raikkonen: 8/10 Q5 S4 F3

What a great drive! He overtook his team mate on the first lap and was the only driver to threaten Maldonado and Alonso through the entire race. Maybe if the race had been one lap longer he could have caught Fernando, but all that matters is that the return is going well and he’s got 2 podiums in the last 2 races.

Romain Grosjean: 8/10 Q4 S3 F4

What en exciting talent. The signing of Grosjean looks like a mighty pull by Lotus who are now 3rd in the constructors championship and Romain drove a non eventful race to take home another 12 points. Could Romain win the F1 title only a year after winning GP2? Only time will tell.

Timo Glock: 6/10 Q22 S21 F18

For the second race in a row Timo was behind his fellow Marussia on the grid, but that didn’t last long, overtaking Pic and two others on the first lap and constantly battling away to try and get the Marussia into a respectful position.

Charles Pic: 7/10 Q21 S20 ret.

Congratulations are in order for Charles, out qualifying Timo for the second race in a row, the race was no less eventful, delaying Fernando Alonso (probably what stopped Fernando winning) and then when he did his drive thru he just entered the garage never to return die to a drive shaft problem. Better luck next time.