Q & A: de la Rosa on his future
|By Edd Straw||Monday, November 22nd 2010, 12:59 GMT|
After many years as a test and reserve driver at McLaren, Pedro de la Rosa finally made it back onto the Formula 1 grid with Sauber in 2010, only to lose his seat following the Italian Grand Prix.
He soon found new employment as a development driver for Pirelli, but has not given up on F1 racing and wants another chance in 2011. During last weekend's tyre test in Abu Dhabi, de la Rosa talked to AUTOSPORT about his current situation.
Q. There's a lot of talk linking you with Hispania, is that a possibility for 2011?
Pedro de la Rosa: At the moment, to be honest, I have no idea what I will do next year.
Obviously I'm talking to everyone that might have a seat available. But the question really is that it will always be my decision where I can go.
I'm not sure at this point what will be best for my future. It very much depends on what is the project behind each team.
Q. Is the priority to get a race drive?
PDLR: Yes, for sure. That is the priority. It's very clear after this year that I'm fresh again, I'm strong and I want to continue this trend. Otherwise if you go as a test driver, I think you need to do one year of test driving, one year of race driving, otherwise two years of test driving... That's why I have to get back racing.
But I still have a few tests with Pirelli and I'm enjoying it. So I don't need to take a decision right now. Let's enjoy it a little bit and see what opens up.
Q. Are you just attached to Pirelli until the end of this year?
PDLR: Yes, exactly. I want to go back racing, I miss it. Already these two days without jumping into any car [during the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tests], it's difficult. But I will not rush into anything. I will only do things that I think are solid and interesting for my future.
Q. So it's not a case of wanting to be on the grid for the sake of it, you want to be in a proper project?
PDLR: Yes. I don't need to be winning races, don't get me wrong, I'm not that arrogant, I'm not that much of a dreamer. But I want to be in something I enjoy and I want to work with people I enjoy. I want to be able to have a good year, because it might be one of my last seasons. I know where I am, and I'm at a point in my career where I will not be pushed into anything.
Q. Does getting on the grid depend on you raising money?
PDLR: What I know for sure is that if I had money I would 100 per cent be able to be racing. It's always been like that, but I would say next year is one of the worst I've ever seen in terms of how the teams are selling their race drives. But we will see, it's still early days and I'm not in a rush. Whatever I do, I want to do it properly. I don't want to be rushed into anything.
Q. Is it frustrating that this season finished the way it did?
PDLR: It was disappointing, the fact that for Singapore the team brought a very good aero package, which I knew about, had been working on, and I didn't have the possibility to use it.
I knew that the car was getting better, but it was a much bigger step forward. But at the end of the day, I am happy with my work. I did my best, I think I did a very solid job. I came back from three years in the shadows, for the past seven years I've done eight races, so I think that you should not underestimate how competitive Formula 1 is.
I went in there and did a very good job. Now let's move on. I still want to go racing. I don't know where I will. But I consider if I don't get a race seat, I could go back to testing in Formula 1.
Q. So you'd rather return to F1 testing than race elsewhere?
PDLR: Next year I'm concentrating only on Formula 1. Once that train has passed, you will never jump back, But you are always young enough to do Le Mans or DTM. But you are not young enough to always do Formula 1. It doesn't work doing it 50/50, you have to do everything 100 per cent in life.
Q. So you want to be working in F1 whatever happens, even if it's with Pirelli rather than a team?
PDLR: Yes, let's see with Pirelli what the plan is for next year. It's very much up to the teams and what they want. So there are several options open.
Q. Any possibility of returning to McLaren?
PDLR: For me, I've always been a McLaren person. Returning as a test driver would not make sense in any other team. I think I would not enjoy it as much. But I'm not sure.
Q. Is Hispania an option and have you had contact with them?
PDLR: I have, yes. For me, everything will depend on what their sporting project is. If it's interesting, I will go for it. Or if it's not, or I perceive it as not being, I will not waste my time. Whatever I do, I always do 100 per cent. I put a lot of passion into things. Whatever I do, I will do it with passion. And if I go to Hispania, I would want to feel the same.