Q & A: de la Rosa on his future

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

Q & A: de la Rosa on his future

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.

De la Rosa: Funding tougher than ever
Previous article

De la Rosa: Funding tougher than ever

Next article

Pirelli identifies final tweaks required

Pirelli identifies final tweaks required
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Plus

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022