Pedro de la Rosa: “I’m just happy to be here…”

Pedro de la Rosa had a lot of learning to do when he was thrown into the Sauber this afternoon with minimal preparation.

Although the 40-year-old drove for the Swiss team nine months ago, that car didn’t have KERS or DRS, and he hadn’t driven anything on track since a McLaren test in February.

“It’s an opportunity I did not expect,” said the Spaniard. “I want to do a good job, a solid job as normal, and try to build on today. Hopefully tomorrow my reactions will be more instinctive, and I don’t have to think before I press any button in the steering or somehow. I’m just happy to be here.

“We could use my seat from last year, which was absolutely very important and vital. All the rest, I went out with my McLaren overalls, boots helmet, we did a quick fix on the ear pieces just to match the radio systems from Sauber. The pedals were a compromise.”

Although he has run the 2011 systems in the McLaren simulator, those on the Sauber are different.

“The DRS, it’s the first ever time I’ve driven it in a proper race car, so it’s all new. It’s just a matter of pressing everything when you have, it’s just a matter of extracting the most out of KERS and DRS, and for me this is the point where at the moment I have more to learn. I’m not really disciplined enough with the buttons to extract 100%.

“I have to practice pit stops. Unfortunately I haven’t practised one start, so I need to do that.”

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Pedro de la Rosa: “I’m just happy to be here…”

  1. bret branon

    Who is going to work the Safety Crew here in Austin for the F1 races?
    Where will the Crew get the training?
    Will it be SCCA folks in Texas? Or Laguna Seca folks? Or Canadians?
    Your thoughts on this would be very much appreciated.
    b.
    Bret Branon
    b@westparkfoundries.com
    Austin, Texas.

  2. I LOVE that he went out wearing McLaren gear! Like the good old days when teams would borrow a wing or a tyre and go racing. Good on Macca for giving him a go. Though it is rather strange Sauber didn’t have a better back up plan given Perez’s state. You’d think they would have had the test driver there at this of all races!

  3. Soeren

    Why didn’t Sauber use Esteban Gutierrez? Have you heard anything from the team about the reasons for that decision?

  4. The Kitchen Cynic

    He’s not in the country – though as mentioned above, it seems a strange oversight given the situation.

  5. Stone the crows

    They had de La Rossa’s seat from last year but not this year’s back up driver? That’s odd.

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