Ferrari confirmed today that Pedro de la Rosa has joined the team as a development driver.
De la Rosa, who is close to Fernando Alonso and worked with the former champion at McLaren, will focus on improving the Ferrari simulator. He brings with him useful inside knowledge of the McLaren simulator, with which he worked until late 2011.
Explaining the move, Stefano Domenicali said: “We decided to add de la Rosa to our group of drivers mainly to strengthen one area, namely work in the simulator, which with the current regulations regarding testing, is becoming ever more important.
“Pedro therefore joins a group of drivers that already includes Davide Rigon, Marc Gene, Andrea Bertolini and Jules Bianchi. Regarding the latter, who is also part of the FDA, we are currently trying to find him a role in Formula 1 and when we have some news, we will let you know.”
De la Rosa is well known to Ferrari’s engineers after using the Maranello company’s engines at Sauber in 2010, and of course has an established relationship with technical director Pat Fry, another ex-McLaren man.
He had an ongoing contract with the now defunct HRT team but was left without a drive when the owners pulled the plug after the Brazilian GP.
“It is amazingly motivating to be working for a team like Ferrari, not just because of what it represents in the history of Formula 1 and motoring in general, but also because it will be a completely new and very stimulating experience for me,” said de la Rosa.
“I really hope I can get to work as soon as possible and to help in the development of the car. I am happy to be collaborating with Fernando again and also to be working with Felipe. There’s not much time until Australia, but there is a lot to do and I am available to help the team from right now.”