McLaren confirm de la Rosa for Brazil

McLaren confirmed on Friday that Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa will race for them in next week's Brazilian Grand Prix, ending any hope of Briton Lewis Hamilton making his Formula One debut this season

McLaren confirm de la Rosa for Brazil

The Mercedes-powered team had delayed confirming their line-up for the final race of the year at Interlagos until after Hamilton and de la Rosa had tested at Jerez this week.

Although 21-year-old Hamilton set the second fastest time on Thursday, with only Ferrari's Michael Schumacher quicker than him, McLaren confirmed that they would be sticking with the experienced de la Rosa.

"After the disappointing race we had in Suzuka, I am looking forward to getting back on track and working with the team to finish the year on a high," de la Rosa said in a team preview.

"The test in Jerez this week has been positive, with a lot of the focus on tyres with Michelin and as a result we feel confident we will be able to get more out of them at Interlagos," he added.

Hamilton, 21, remains a leading candidate to race for McLaren next year alongside Spanish world champion Fernando Alonso who arrives from Renault.

Brazil will be Kimi Raikkonen's farewell to the team before joining Ferrari as Schumacher's replacement next year while de la Rosa has been a stand-in since Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya left for NASCAR in July.

McLaren will be looking to Raikkonen as their best and last hope of winning a race this year to ensure they do not finish a season without a victory for the first time in a decade.

"I am of course sad to be leaving the team," McLaren quoted the Finn as saying. "We have had some great times together and it would be fantastic to go out with a win."

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