He started his career for Arrows, scoring a point on his first start. He drove for Jaguar in 2001 and 2002, replaced Juan Pablo Montoya at McLaren for a race in 2005 and for half a season in 2006 and drove for BMW Sauber in 2010 and for one race (when the team was renamed as Sauber) at the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix. He drove for HRT in 2012, and after the team folded, he spent time being Ferrari's test driver until he left the team at the end of 2014.
De la Rosa is an experienced test driver, spending 1998 as a Jordan tester, a few races as Prost test driver, eight years with McLaren and testing for Pirelli in 2010 after being replaced at Sauber by Nick Heidfeld.
- 1 Racing career
- 1.1 Early career
- 1.2 Formula Ford (1990)
- 1.3 Formula Renault (1991–1992)
- 1.4 Formula Three (1993–1995)
- 1.5 Formula Nippon and GT Racing (1996–1997)
- 1.6 Formula One (1998–2014)
- 1.7 1999–2000: Arrows
- 1.8 2001: Prost
- 1.9 2001–2002: Jaguar
- 1.10 2003–2009: McLaren
- 1.11 2010: BMW Sauber and Pirelli
- 1.12 2011: Return to McLaren and Sauber
- 1.13 2012: HRT
- 1.14 2013–2014: Ferrari
- 2 Formula One Statistical Overview
- 3 Notes
Pedro de la Rosa was born in Catalonia, Spain on February 24, 1971. He began his career not by competing in motor racing but rather competing in radio-controlled car races within his homeland of Spain. De la Rosa had much success in the sport winning the European Championships in 1983 and 1984 consecutively followed by becoming the European runner-up in 1986. De la Rosa started his motor racing career relatively late in comparison to most drivers, entering his first Karting race in 1987 at the age of 17. Like radio controlled cars, de la Rosa had some skill at motor racing and won his local Karting Championship in Catalonia.
After only a single year in Karting, he made the move to single-seater motor racing in which he joined the Spanish Formula Fiat Championship. In his first year in single-seaters, de la Rosa took a total of two wins and ended up winning the Championship at the end of the seven race season.
Formula Ford (1990)
After his success in Formula Fiat, de la Rosa moved into Formula Ford for 1990. He competed in both the Spanish and British Formula Ford championships. There he had much success in the Spanish series, winning eight of the ten races that season taking an easy victory in the Championship. At the end of the year, he participated in the Formula Ford Festival in Great Britain, an invitation-only event for the best Formula Ford drivers from their respective Championships. Also competing in the event was Jean-Christophe Bouillion, another future Formula One driver. Bouillion would finish third in the event whilst de la Rosa would go on to finish a distant twelfth.
Formula Renault (1991–1992)
For 1991, he entered the Spanish Formula Renault Championship competing for the Racing for Spain team alongside teammate Ivan Arias. De la Rosa would not take any victories that year and would only manage to finish fourth in the championship, however he was able to consistently outpace teammate Arias throughout the season.
For 1992, he remained with the Racing for Spain team where both he and Ivan Arias competed in the British and French Formula Renault championships. It turned out to be a strong season for De la Rosa in which he was able to win two of the three French races and three of the twelve British races. By seasons end his strong results enabled him win both championships.
Formula Three (1993–1995)
After his success in Formula Renault, De la Rosa signed for the British Formula Three series with West Surrey Racing for the 1993 season. That year he was partnered with French driver Jeremie Dufour who was starting his second season in F3. De la Rosa competed in all fourteen races where he finished a strong sixth in the Championship. Aside from competing in the British series, he took part in the Masters of Formula Three and the Macau Grand Prix, competing against notable drivers such as Jacques Villeneuve, Jos Verstappen and Alexander Wurz. De la Rosa crashed out of the Macau Grand Prix but finished an admirable ninth in the Masters of Formula Three.
De la Rosa continued to race in the British Formula Three series for 1994. He opted to return to his old team at Racing for Spain alongside his original teammate Ivan Arias. De la Rosa saw stiff competition in the series from other future Formula One drivers such as Marc Gené, Jan Magnussen, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli and Ricardo Rosset. He struggled during the season and could only finish a disappointing nineteenth in the championship.
After a disappointing season in 1994, De la Rosa moved to Japan for 1995 to compete in the Japanese Formula Three series. Racing for the TOM'S team, the move to Japan proved to be a good decision as De la Rosa dominated the championship winning eight of the nine races that season. He also competed in the Macau Grand Prix for a second time, finishing the race in a strong third position behind Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli.
Formula Nippon and GT Racing (1996–1997)
For 1996, De la Rosa remained in Japan where he moved up into Formula Nippon, the Japanese equivalent of Formula 3000. As well as competing in Formula Nippon, De la Rosa would also compete in a season of the Japanese GT Championship. Racing for Team Nova in the Formula Nippon championship, he struggled to compete with the leaders and spent most of his season within the mid-field. Ralf Schumacher would go on to win the Championship with another future Formula One driver, Norberto Fontana not far behind.
De la Rosa fared little better in the GT series. For the first time, he would be competing against Formula One veterans such as Erik Comas, Aguri Suzuki and David Brabham. De la Rosa struggled in the mid-field and was once again overshadowed by Ralf Schumacher in the Championship.
After his troubles within Japan, he briefly returned to Formula Three with the Paul Stewart Racing Team to compete in the Macau Grand Prix for a third time. De la Rosa would finish the race in seventh place, behind drivers such as Jarno Trulli, Ralph Firman and Nick Heidfeld.
After a dismal season in 1996, De la Rosa hoped for much better success in 1997. His main rival in the GT and Formula Nippon Championships, Ralf Schumacher, had moved on to Formula One which weakened the strength of the competition. De la Rosa would go on to have a highly successful season. De la Rosa dominated the Formula Nippon Championship winning six of the ten races. In the GT Championships, he had it tougher winning two of the six races. By the end of the last race, De la Rosa was tied on points for the lead of the Championship with both Michael Krumm and Masami Kageyama. However as he had the most wins out of the three drivers he was able to secure the Championship title.
Formula One (1998–2014)
After a very strong season in 1997, he opted to move back to Europe in the off-season of 1997, in the hope of finding a drive in Formula One. His success in 1997 meant he was able to secure the backing of a major sponsor, being the Spanish oil company Repsol. Repsol would help commit for De la Rosa to make his way into Formula One for 1998.
On the 5th January 1998, De la Rosa was announced as the test and reserve driver for the Jordan Grand Prix team. De la Rosa's Repsol sponsorship was the main contributing factor in allowing De la Rosa to secure the drive, providing significant backing to the Jordan team for the 1998 season. De la Rosa would work alongside race drivers Damon Hill and former rival Ralf Schumacher during non-Grand Prix weeks attending test sessions and assisting with the development of the car. During the season De la Rosa attended test sessions at Silverstone, Monza, Magny-Cours and Suzuka. His final outing with the team was a tyre test session in Suzuka where the team would evaluate the new Bridgestone tyres for the 1999 Formula One Season.
With a race driver unavailable at Jordan for 1999, Repsol and De la Rosa opted to leave Jordan in the hope of securing a full time race seat for the new season. With his substantial Repsol sponsorship, De la Rosa was an attractive choice for the smaller teams due to the finances he brought with him. In February 1999, he performed an evaluation test with the Arrows team. Alongside him at the evaluation test was Toranasuke Takagi who was also trying to gain a seat with the Arrows team that year. De la Rosa and Takagi were both locked in a four way shoot out in attempting to gain an Arrows race seat for 1999, with the Arrows 1998 line-up of Mika Salo and Pedro Diniz also vying for the seat. De la Rosa's Repsol backing enabled him to secure one of the 1999 race seats in which he was confirmed on the 22nd February. Toranasuke Takagi was confirmed as his 1999 teammate shortly after.
After pre-season testing had concluded the teams made their way to Melbourne, Australia for the first Grand Prix of the season at Albert Park. Takagi had a slight advantage over De la Rosa after having already competed in an F1 season the previous year. However both Arrows cars appeared to struggle in qualifying and Takagi lined up seventeenth with De la Rosa just behind him in eighteenth. The race would fair better for the Arrows pairing, the race saw multiple incidents with many drivers retiring, enabling the two Arrows cars to move up the field rapidly. De la Rosa was able to get past his Japanese teammate and was able to run as high as fourth before being overtaken by Giancarlo Fisichella and Rubens Barrichello shortly before the finish. Nonetheless De la Rosa was able to score an unexpected point on his Formula One debut, with Takagi right behind him in seventh place.
After the first race it was evident that de la Rosa was much quicker than Takagi. However his luck did not improve in the following Grand Prix's. De la Rosa had a large accident with the Benetton of Alexander Wurz in the San Marino Grand Prix and a string of reliability issues forced him out of a majority of the races. The Arrows cars often rivaled the Minardi's as the slowest cars on track and when the cars did finish it was generally quite significantly behind most of the other cars. Despite two large accidents in Austria and Germany, De la Rosa asserted himself well in his first Formula One season and although he was not able to score any more points after his first race, his season proved to be a success.
During the mid-season of 1999, both De la Rosa and Takagi expressed interest in competing for the team in 2000. Both drivers brought significant backing towards the team but Team Principal Tom Walkinshaw was looking for a more experienced driver for 2000 after a relatively inexperienced lineup that had been in place for 1999. Takagi however announced that he was abandoning his Formula One endeavours for 2000 in January and returned to his homeland in Japan. This allowed De la Rosa to secure the Arrows race seat for a second Formula One campaign. De la Rosa would be joined in the team by Dutch veteran Jos Verstappen for the 2000 season.
The season did not start well for De la Rosa as, despite out-qualifying teammate Verstappen in the opening round in Australia, De la Rosa was sent crashing into the barriers in a violent incident after his suspension failed. Things began to look better in Brazil with De la Rosa finishing eighth in the race just behind teammate Verstappen. However the 2000 season proved to be little better than the season before, the Arrows car was consistently off the pace and the car often failed to finish races. At the Spanish Grand Prix, De la Rosa was involved in a first lap accident with the Prost of Jean Alesi that took both cars out of the race. However at the European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, De la Rosa put in another strong race to finish in sixth place taking his first point of the season. The German Grand Prix would also see De la Rosa take his second points finish of the season when he took another sixth place.
By season's end, De la Rosa finished with two points whilst teammate Verstappen finished on five points. Verstappen had proved to be a much more formidable opponent than De la Rosa's original teammate, Tora Takagi but the pair were evenly matched on most occasions and De la Rosa was able to beat his veteran teammate on a multitude of occasions.
De la Rosa's two seasons with the Arrows team had offered him little success and early on in the season, De la Rosa sought to find a more competitive drive for the upcoming 2001 season. De la Rosa had been in negotiations with the Sauber team for 2001, however talks with the team broke down as his Repsol sponsorship was unwilling for him to join a team where a rival oil company (Petronas) was already sponsoring Sauber. After failing to find a more competitive drive for 2001, both himself and Jos Verstappen signed for another season together at the Arrows team. De la Rosa participated in a lot of the pre-season testing for the Arrows team, however in an unexpected move, Arrows opted to replace De la Rosa in January 2001 with young Brazilian driver, Enrique Bernoldi. Bernoldi had supposedly impressed the team after a very successful test with the Sauber team as well as providing substantial Red Bull sponsorship being more preferable than De la Rosa's own Repsol sponsorship package.
With no Formula One seats available this late in the pre-season, De la Rosa opted to sign a two year deal with the Prost team which would see him act as the team's test and reserve driver for 2001 before being promoted to the full race seat in 2002. At a pre-season test in Estoril, De la Rosa drove considerably quicker than Gaston Mazzacane, one of the the teams race drivers for that season.
Within two weeks of signing a contract with Prost, De la Rosa was unveiled by Jaguar as test and reserve driver for the 2001 season and one of the teams race drivers for the 2002 season. Upon the announcement of this deal De la Rosa officially left the Prost team. After conducting a number of test sessions with the team in March and April, De la Rosa was announced to be replacing current Jaguar driver Luciano Burti from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards. Burti would instead move to Prost in order to settle the dispute between the two teams after De la Rosa left the French team two weeks into his two year contract.
De la Rosa's first race with Jaguar in 2001 ended on the fifth lap of the Spanish Grand Prix when he collided with Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Jordan car. The Jaguar car demonstrated that it could be quick on occasions but it was generally highly unreliable and De la Rosa often did not finish the races. However De la Rosa scored a sixth place finish at the Canadian Grand Prix and his best finish to date with a fifth place at the Italian Grand Prix. De la Rosa often outpaced his much more experienced teammate and race winner Eddie Irvine demonstrating his capability to race within Formula One.
Despite being provided with a rather underwhelming car in 2001, De la Rosa demonstrated that he was quite capable of equalling the results of his teammate and number one driver, Eddie Irvine. Starting his second campaign with the Jaguar team in 2002, De la Rosa hoped to improve on his results in the previous year.
The 2002 campaign however proved to be a disaster for De la Rosa. The R3 chassis proved to be dreadful and struggled to even compete with the midfield as well as having a terrible reliability record. For the British Grand Prix, Jaguar released the R3B chassis, hoping to solve the issues with its predecessor. The new car provided a minor improvement for the team in its results but both De la Rosa and Irvine continued to struggle. The only notable result for De la Rosa that season was when at the Italian Grand Prix, both Jaguar cars qualified in the top ten. De la Rosa qualified in eighth, his highest qualifying position until that point. Teammate Irvine qualified three places higher. It was the only race that Jaguar appeared competitive, De la Rosa was running well in fifth position before he was taken out by the Sauber of Felipe Massa. It was a disappointing result considering the teams pace and the fact that Irvine would go on to finish third in the race.
It was a terrible season for De la Rosa which saw him fail to score a point for the first time in his Formula One career. Despite the fact that Irvine scored a podium at Monza and a fifth place in Belgium which meant he finished higher in the championship than De la Rosa, it was the young Spaniard who had out-qualified and out-raced his more experienced teammate. This was a feat that earned the respect of much of the Formula One fraternity.
After a dismal 2002 campaign, Jaguar saw major restructuring within its team for 2003, part of this restructuring meant that the Jaguar team's management wanted to try a new driver line-up for 2003 as part of its "fresh start". This meant that both De la Rosa and Irvine were sacked in favour of a young breed of drivers being Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia. The chances of De la Rosa gaining a Formula One seat for 2003 were slim, due to a majority of seats already being filled for the 2003 season. Both himself and Irvine attempted to find a seat at the Jordan team for 2003, however neither driver got the drive with the team.
While Irvine went on to retire from Grand Prix racing, De la Rosa's career was saved when in April 2003 he was offered a drive at McLaren as one of their test and reserve drivers alongside Alexander Wurz. De la Rosa's manager Julian Jakobi was able to produce garner a deal with the British team after having strong connections with the team during his time as Ayrton Senna's manager.
De la Rosa did not appear at as many tests in comparison to fellow McLaren test driver, Alexander Wurz, usually only appearing when race-drivers, David Coulthard or Kimi Räikkönen were unable to drive.
For the 2004 season, De la Rosa opted to continue on in his role as test and reserve driver for the McLaren team rather than search for a race seat at a smaller team. The 2004 season saw him attend a greater number of tests within the season than he did in the previous year in 2003. De la Rosa and fellow tester Alexander Wurz attended multiple pre-season and mid-season tests throughout the season. De la Rosa was driving in the McLaren race car on most non-grand prix weekends, assisting in the development of the 2004 McLaren contender throughout the season.
The 2004 McLaren Formula One campaign had proven to be quite a dismal season for the British team. McLaren tried a new tactic for the new season and opted to hold a reduced testing programme in 2005 in favour for more practice and testing time at Grand Prix weekends. This meant that De la Rosa would perform most of his testing during the season at the Grand Prix weekends rather than the non-racing weekends.
As fellow test driver Alexander Wurz struggled to fit inside the new McLaren car, it meant that De la Rosa would attend most of the Grand Prix weekends as the reserve and test driver. Out of the nineteen races that year, De la Rosa would attend thirteen of them performing as test driver.
However, when McLaren race driver Juan Pablo Montoya broke his shoulder after a tennis match shortly before the Bahrain Grand Prix, De la Rosa was called in to replace him for the race. It was his first race since 2002, yet this did not prevent him from out-qualifying teammate Kimi Räikkönen and equalling his highest ever grid position in eighth place. Teammate Räikkönen was one place behind him in ninth. Whilst Räikkönen proved quicker in the race, De la Rosa managed to put in a strong drive to finish the race in fifth place, equaling his best ever result and finishing only two places behind his teammate. For the next race in San Marino, De la Rosa handed over the driving reins to fellow test driver Alexander Wurz to fill in for the still injured Montoya.
For the 2006 Formula One Season, McLaren opted to return to a more extensive testing programme rather than being able to receive greater track times at the Grand Prix weekends, this meant that De la Rosa would no longer participate in the practice sessions at the Grand Prix, instead he would return to performing his testing duties throughout the various test tracks across the world during pre-season and mid-season testing. As well as this, Alexander Wurz who had been De la Rosa's fellow test and reserve driver at McLaren had left the team in favour of taking up the test role at the Williams team, meaning that young British driver Gary Paffett would join De la Rosa as a test driver at McLaren.
However at the conclusion of the United States Grand Prix, McLaren race driver Juan Pablo Montoya announced he was quitting Formula One and the McLaren team with immediate effect. The team announced that De la Rosa would be promoted to the McLaren race seat for the remaining eight races of the season. His first race of the season was the French Grand Prix where De la Rosa qualified in eighth place, two places behind teammate Raikkonen. De la Rosa would finish the race in a solid seventh, once again only two places behind his teammate. The next race in Germany proved less successful for De la Rosa. Whilst Raikkonen put his McLaren on pole position, De la Rosa languished in ninth place on the grid. His race fared little better, retiring on the second lap with fuel pump failure.
However his luck changed at the Hungarian Grand Prix, a race that was to be one of the greatest of his career. Despite the fact that teammate Raikkonen put his McLaren on pole position, De la Rosa was not far behind seeing him qualify in fourth, only three places behind his teammate. As the race started, the conditions proved to be quite wet making it the first wet race at the Hungaroring. The race proved to be highly eventful with many drivers crashing and retiring including teammate Kimi Raikkonen. De la Rosa however managed to keep his car under control and finished the race in second place and therefore earning his first podium finish.
De la Rosa was able to continue his strong form at the Turkish Grand Prix by finishing in fifth position but this was followed by a retirement at the Italian Grand Prix. Another fifth place came at the Chinese Grand Prix, but in Japan he was only able to secure eleventh, and at his final race with McLaren in Brazil he was able to secure the final points placing with an eighth place finishing.
After Kimi Räikkönen was announced that he was leaving McLaren at the end of 2006 in order to replace the retiring Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, De la Rosa had become a candidate for the full time race driver for the 2007 Season alongside new McLaren driver, reigning world champion and De la Rosa's compatriot Fernando Alonso. However also competing for the drive was McLaren's other two test drivers, Gary Paffett and Lewis Hamilton. The drive eventually went to Lewis Hamilton who had recently won the 2006 GP2 Championship. Both De la Rosa and Paffett would continue on with the team in 2007 as the team's test and reserve drivers. After a season away from the microphone, De la Rosa resumed his role as a commentator for the Spanish Formula One coverage on the television channel Telecino.
De la Rosa received significant attention in 2007 when he was involved in the "Spygate" scandal between the Ferrari and McLaren teams. De la Rosa allegedly had multiple corresponding emails with McLaren designer Mike Coughlan and race driver Fernando Alonso about the setup of the F2207 cars that Ferrari were using to compete in the 2007 Formula One Season. Coughlan had received confidential Ferrari documents from fired Ferrari engineer, Nigel Stepney. As both De la Rosa and Alonso provided evidence to the FIA about the scandal, both drivers were granted immunity from punishment at the conclusion of the case.
During the mid-season of 2007, De la Rosa had been linked to a race seat at David Richards's Prodrive F1 team that was attempting to gain an entry into the Formula One Championship for 2008. Prodrive was set to be the "B-Team" of McLaren which would see it run the 2007 McLaren, the MP4-22 as its 2008 challenger. Both McLaren test drivers being De la Rosa and Gary Paffett were expected to be signed as race drivers with Bruno Spengler as the team's test driver. However in November 2007, the FIA announced that it had denied Prodrive's application to compete in the 2008 Formula One Season, meaning that both De la Rosa and Paffett were forced to continue on in their roles as the McLaren test and reserve drivers.
On the 14th March 2008, De la Rosa was elected Chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association. The GPDA being the trade union that looks after the welfare of Formula One drivers competing in the sport. Aside from his new duties as GPDA Chairman, De la Rosa continued his extensive testing program with McLaren.
For the 2009 Formula One Season, De la Rosa was linked to a drive with the Force India team for the upcoming season, replacing either Giancarlo Fisichella or Adrian Sutil. After both McLaren and Force India signed a partnership deal during 2008 which would see them use the same customer engines for 2009 being Mercedes as well as future collaboration between the two teams. Part of this deal would supposedly see De la Rosa moving from the McLaren test and reserve role to one of the race seats at Force India. In November 2008, De la Rosa conducted a Formula One test session with Force India as a part of the pre-season testing for 2009. However the supposed race drive never materialized and Force India kept its 2008 lineup for the new season.
A change in the testing regulations for the 2009 meant a serious cut-back on testing costs which would ban all mid-season testing for the coming season. This meant that De la Rosa's only opportunity to drive the new McLaren would be at the few pre-season tests throughout January until March. For the rest of the season, De la Rosa was unable to gain access to the race car being forced to conduct his development of the car with the use of the team's simulator.
2010: BMW Sauber and Pirelli
After a rather dull 2009 season which saw De la Rosa unable to get behind the McLaren once apart from the pre-season tests at the beginning of the year, De la Rosa was desperate to find his way back into a race seat for the 2010 season due to the testing restrictions being continued into the new season. When Spanish racing team Campos Racing announced it would be competing in the 2010 Formula One Season, De la Rosa became heavily linked to acquiring a drive with the team for the 2010 season. Campos team principal and former Formula One racer Adrian Campos announced that De la Rosa was his preferred candidate for the 2010 race seat. However De la Rosa was struggling to get the sponsorship needed to be able to fund a race drive with the team and a drive with Campos in 2010 seemed all the more unlikely.
Instead De la Rosa turned his sights to finding a drive with the BMW Sauber-Ferrari team, a team that had come back under the ownership of Peter Sauber after four seasons of being under BMW ownership. On the 19th January 2010 De la Rosa was confirmed as the official race driver for the Sauber team in the 2010 season. Joining the team meant that after seven seasons with McLaren as their test and reserve driver he would be leaving the team. This would also be the first time he had secured a full time Formula One driver since competing with Jaguar back in 2002. Upon his announcement as a BMW Sauber driver, De la Rosa opted to step down in his role as the GPDA Chairman in order to focus fully on his new Formula One drive. For the new season he would be partnered by the highly rated young Japanese driver, Kamui Kobayashi, who had impressed in his first two Formula One races at the end of 2009 with Toyota.
The new Sauber C29 however was not an impressive car and both De la Rosa and Kobayashi struggled with it throughout the season. Despite holding the advantage of Kobayashi at the beginning of the season, the young Japanese driver quickly adjusted himself and began to outpace De la Rosa. The season was a struggle from the start for both drivers, the car usually was competing at the very back of the mid-field and struggled to compete for points. The greatest problem for the C29 was its reliability with both De la Rosa and Kobayashi regularly retiring from hydraulic failure. At the Malaysian Grand Prix, De la Rosa failed to even start the race with his car breaking down on the way to the grid. When the Renault of Vitaly Petrov hit the back of De la Rosa at the Canadian Grand Prix, De la Rosa heavily criticised the Russian driver on his driving style. Despite his misfortune, De la Rosa was able to get into the top 10 in qualifying for the British and Hungarian Grands Prix. Whilst he retired in Britain, the Hungarian Grand Prix which had previously provided him with his only podium in F1 saw him able to take a hard earned seventh place and his only points finish of the season.
Since the start of the season, De la Rosa had been rumoured to be replaced before the conclusion of the season. Originally there had been talk of GP2 driver Pastor Maldonado taking his seat mid-season however this never appeared apparent. De la Rosa remained doubtful throughout the season that Sauber would re-hire him again and was looking for new opportunities for 2011. Despite this he remained adamant that he would finish the season with the BMW Sauber F1 Team. Therefore when it was announced that former Sauber driver, Nick Heidfeld would replace De la Rosa from the Singapore Grand Prix onwards, De la Rosa was taken by surprise. Despite being removed from Sauber before the season was over, De la Rosa was invited to become a Pirelli test driver for the remainder of the season replacing Nick Heidfeld, the man who was replacing him at Sauber. Pirelli Tyres would be replacing Bridgestone as the official Formula One tyre supplier from 2011 onwards and De la Rosa was asked to help them test their 2011 Formula One tyres. Alongside Romain Grosjean, the pair conducted a number of tyre tests prior to the conclusion of the 2010 season with the Toyota TF109 car.
2011: Return to McLaren and Sauber
After failing to find a race drive for the 2011 Formula One Season, De la Rosa opted to return to McLaren as their test and reserve driver for the 2011 season. Embarking on his eighth season with the team, De la Rosa however would not get to drive the McLaren car due to the testing restrictions and him missing the pre-season testing. De la Rosa would conduct his test duties via the team's simulator and would attend the majority of the Grand Prix that season as the reserve and an observer.
However at the Canadian Grand Prix that year, regular Sauber driver, Sergio Pérez had continued to experience side effects from a nasty accident he had received in qualifying at the previous race in Monaco which had prevented him from competing in that event. After the first Free Practice session, Perez opted to retire from the rest of the event due to his injuries sustained at the previous race. Only ten minutes before the second practice session started, De la Rosa was invited to race for the team for the rest of the weekend. Hastily he accepted and competing in the second practice session whilst wearing his McLaren overalls he managed to adjust well to the car and set the eighteenth fastest time despite the car still being set to Perez's set-up. He managed to qualify in seventeenth place, five places behind Kamui Kobayashi. De la Rosa put in a strong performance in the race to finish twelfth out of the seventeen cars that finished the race. It was announced by Sauber that De la Rosa would once again be their reserve driver for the next race in Valencia if Sergio Pérez would once again be unable to compete. Pérez, was however, announced to be fully fit for Valencia and De la Rosa returned to his role as the McLaren test and reserve driver for the remainder of the season.
With the exception of the race in Canada, De la Rosa did not drive a Formula One car during the 2011 season and was desperate to return to a race seat for 2012. In November 2011, De la Rosa signed on with the HRT team in a two year contract that would last until the end of the 2013 Formula One Season. The move was classified as "mad" by McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh due to the HRT team being amongst the slowest cars on the grid. De la Rosa had originally tried to garner a deal with the team in 2010 when it was known as Campos Racing and felt glad to be racing for a Spanish Formula One team. For the 2012 campaign he would be joined by Indian driver, Narain Karthikeyan who was starting his second season with the team.
At the beginning of March 2012 it was confirmed that De la Rosa would serve a second stint as the Chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association taking over from the now retired Rubens Barrichello. De la Rosa had originally served as the GPDA Chairman from 2008-2010.
The HRT was the slowest car on the grid that season and in the first race of the season in Australia both De la Rosa and Karthikeyan failed to qualify. It had been the first time in his career that De la Rosa had failed to qualify for a race. The HRT cars almost always occupied the last two rows on the grid. The HRT was also one of the most unreliable cars on the grid and retired regularly. The most notable retirement for De la Rosa was in Monaco when he was involved in a multiple car pile-up which saw himself, Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado eliminated from the race at the first corner of the first lap. De la Rosa's only consolation was that he was significantly faster than teammate Karthikeyan and was able to out-qualify and out race him on most occasions. However due to the fact that Karthikeyan was able to secure a 15th place finish at the Monaco Grand Prix, Karthikeyan ended up finishing higher in the championship than De la Rosa, the Spaniard finishing 25th and last in the championship.
During the 2012 season, the HRT team entered serious financial troubles and towards the end of the season was struggling to stay alive. Despite this HRT had confirmed that they would compete with De la Rosa in the 2013 season if they secured the financial backing they required to stay within Formula One. However as the season progressed it became more and more evident that HRT would not compete in 2013 and a week after the final race in Brazil, HRT announced their withdrawal from Formula One.
With a majority of Formula One race seats confirmed for the 2013 season, De la Rosa announced he was looking to find a test and reserve drive for a respectable team in the 2013 season. In January 2013, De la Rosa was confirmed by the Ferrari team as a development driver for the 2013 season. De la Rosa would assist in the development of the 2013 car via the Ferrari simulator. The move was supposedly influenced by Spanish compatriot and race driver Fernando Alonso who had been friends with De la Rosa during their time as teammates at McLaren in 2007. When it was announced Alonso would not compete in the first pre-season test that year due to a strict fitness program he was running, De la Rosa was announced to replace him for the first pre-season test only. This was a move that surprised De la Rosa who did not believe he would drive the Ferrari car that year.
De la Rosa participated in the fourth and final day of the Jerez test taking over from teammate Felipe Massa. However after only two installation laps, De la Rosa's car caught fire due to an oil leak and he was forced to stop the car. Although Ferrari were able to repair the car for De la Rosa meaning he was able to be sent back out on track a few hours later, his track time was limited to a mere 51 laps.
In March 2013, De la Rosa was confirmed as part of the line-up of the Spanish Formula One commentary team of Antena 3-F1. De la Rosa would attend all the Formula One races that year and act as one of the lead commentators for the races. It would be the first time De la Rosa has provided commentary for Formula One since 2007 when he was with Telecinco.
For 2014, de la Rosa would continue in his role as a development driver for the Ferrari team. De la Rosa would participate in the 2013 Pirelli Tyre Test alongside Jules Bianchi during December 2013, in which the 2014 Pirelli tyres would be assessed and tested for the very first time.
At the end of 2014, de la Rosa left the team and retired from Formula One.
Formula One Statistical Overview
F1 Career Record
|1998||Jordan Grand Prix||Jordan-Mugen-Honda||Test Driver|
|2000||Arrows F1 Team||Arrows-Supertec||2||16th||Report|
|2001||Prost Acer||Prost-Acer||Test Driver||Report|
|Jaguar Racing||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||3||16th|
|2002||Jaguar Racing||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||0||21st||Report|
|2003||West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||Test Driver|
|2004||West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||Test Driver|
|2005||West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||Test Driver||Report|
|2006||Team McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||Test Driver||Report|
|2007||Vodafone McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||Test Driver|
|2008||Vodafone McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||Test Driver|
|2009||Vodafone McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||Test Driver|
|2010||BMW Sauber F1 Team||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||6||17th||Report|
|Pirelli Tyres Test Team||Pirelli||Test Driver|
|2011||Vodafone McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||Test Driver||Report|
|Sauber F1 Team||Sauber-Ferrari||0||20th|
|2012||HRT F1 Team||HRT-Cosworth||0||25th||Report|
|2013||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||Test Driver|
Italics indicate a test driving position.
Non-Racing Formula One Career
|2008–2010||Grand Prix Drivers' Association||Chairman|
|2012–2014||Grand Prix Drivers' Association||Chairman|
|2013–2015||Antena 3 F1||Commentator|
|Front Row Starts||0|
|Distance Raced||22387.406 km (13911 mi)|
|Distance Led||0 km (0 mi)|
|Complete Formula One results|
|2003–2004: Test driver|
|2007–2009: Test driver|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||[+] More Symbols|
NotesTemplate:Teams and Drivers List/2000
|V T E||Grand Prix Drivers' Association|
Moss • Bonnier • Stewart • Scheckter • Pironi • Senna • M. Schumacher • Coulthard • R. Schumacher • De la Rosa • Heidfeld • Barrichello • Wurz
M. Schumacher • Berger • Brundle • D. Hill • Coulthard • Wurz • Trulli • Webber • R. Schumacher • Alonso • De la Rosa • Heidfeld • Massa • Vettel • Barrichello • Button • Grosjean
|Affected races |
1969 Belgian Grand Prix • 1970 German Grand Prix • 1982 South African Grand Prix • 1994 San Marino Grand Prix
Professional Racing Drivers Assocation