Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa will join the Ferrari team as a development driver for the 2013 Formula 1 season, the Italian squad said on Wednesday
De la Rosa, 41, was left without a drive for this year after the HRT team, with which he had a contract for 2013, folded at the end of last season.
Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali said the Spanish driver will join compatriots Fernando Alonso and Marc Gene at the team to assist with simulation work during the year.
"We must anticipate problems we have and focus on simulation," said Domenicali.
"We think Pedro is the right person to develop this type of activity. We think he is a driver that fits well within our group."
Domenicali denied that de la Rosa's friendship with Alonso was key to his signing.
"Clearly the fact that Pedro has a good relationship with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa is a positive factor, but the decision is purely technical," said the team chief.
De la Rosa, who made his Formula 1 racing debut in 1999 with Arrows, had already spent several years working as a test driver for McLaren before he returned to racing first with Sauber and then with HRT in 2012.
DE LA ROSA'S F1 CAREER
1998: Becomes Jordan test driver after winning Formula 3, Formula Nippon and Super GT titles in Japan.
1999-2000: Arrows race driver.
2001-2002: Starts '01 as Prost test driver before replacing Luciano Burti at Jaguar from Spanish Grand Prix.
2003-2009: McLaren test driver. Makes several starts in place of Juan Pablo Montoya in 2005 and '06, and takes first podium in Hungary '06.
2010: Makes surprise racing return with Sauber, but dropped after Italian GP.
2011: Becomes test driver for Pirelli for a spell, before rejoining McLaren as reserve. Makes a one-off return to a Sauber race seat to deputise for injured Sergio Perez in Canada.
2012: Back on the grid again with HRT, but team folds at end of season.
Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931
Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments
Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences
The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?
Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun
While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...