Alright, that might be harsh, but sometimes the truth hurts. And I think the truth is that Pedro de la Rosa’s opportunity to return to racing in Formula 1 came and went with Sauber this season.
Still, de la Rosa isn’t counting out a seat in 2011. If you can call driving for HRT “a seat.” Here’s what he has to say, via Autosport from Spanish radio. (Note to Todd: Told you we needed to invest in a Spanish radio capability. We are missing big news!)
Pedro de la Rosa is hoping his role as Pirelli’s test driver will help him land a racing seat for next year.
But the Spaniard concedes his knowledge of the Italian tyres will not be a determining factor to secure a drive for 2011.
“It’s not going to be a determining factor. It’s not going to get me a drive, but it could get me close to one,” de la Rosa told Spanish radio Onda Cero.
Seriously, is it just me and my semi-man love for Nick Heidfeld, but isn’t Nick the better choice if a team wants to get a little extra Pirelli information in the garage?
Pedro goes on to say that he’d be OK with driving for HRT, which makes sense given he’s, you know, Spanish. Kind of like having an American driver at an American F1 team. (Too soon?)
“I’m in touch with the [team owners] Carabantes and we talk a lot and in fact they inform me about how the project is going,” he said.
“If the project is interesting and ambitious I would be glad to be with them. They know it, but at the moment there is no rush.”
I bet there’s no rush! Heck, he might be checking to see if there’s a decent Le Mans drive before settling into HRT. (I do wonder what, if any, line-up we’ll see at HRT next year. They’ll need a paid, if not two, paid drivers, right? I mean, realistically, won’t they need all the extra cash they can get? I wonder if Petrov could drop to there, depending on what Renault does. But here’s my thought: I think HRT should run a platoon of three paid drivers, somewhat like what they started with Sakon Yamamoto but make it up front from the first race. One will rotate out each race weekend. That way the team would get 2/3s sponsorship from three drivers. It would add a seat for all that young talent, well, the talent that could bring some money along.)
Finally, Pedro talks about the decision to kick him aside for Heidfeld and the driver who is kicking Nick out, Sergio Perez:
De la Rosa, who was replaced by Nick Heidfeld for the final five races of the season, said the decision seemed stranger after Sauber decided to sign Mexican Sergio Perez to partner Kamui Kobayashi next year.
“It’s weird but I’m not going to judge other people’s decisions,” he said. “I have my opinion about it, Peter Sauber knows it, which is what counts to me. I respect the decision, but that doesn’t mean I agree with it. Now I’m moving on with Pirelli.”
The Spanish driver, however, believes that Perez is a good choice for the Swiss squad.
“He’s a good choice for Sauber. He’s a good driver, with a good record and with the important backing from Telmex.”
It’s a strange decision, indeed. Although in just a few races, Nick’s already got 4 points to Pedro’s 6. So… not so strange?