Pedro de la Rosa

Full Name:
Pedro Martinez de la Rosa
Born:
24th February 1971 (Age 48)
Barcelona, Catalunya
Nationality:
Spanish
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Pedro de la Rosa’s graduation to Formula 1 was a long and somewhat tortuous one. A full decade separated his title win in national Fiat Uno to his eventual debut in the 1999 Australian Grand Prix.

Career in the junior formulae

That is not to say that he was anything but successful in the junior categories. 1990 Spanish Formula Ford Champion, he won both the British and European Formula Renault titles after two years in the category.

His inexorable climb came to a halt with two disappointing seasons in British Formula 3 with West Surrey Racing. But a move to Japan in 1995 was immediately rewarded with the F3 title for TOM’s Toyota after a near-perfect season. He added both Formula Nippon and Super GT championships in 1997 – driving Team Nova’s Lola-Mugen and a Toyota Supra (which Michael Krumm shared) respectively.

Formula 1 with Arrows and Jaguar

F1 remained de la Rosa’s aim and he joined Jordan as test driver for 1998. He graduated to the Arrows race team in 1999 and finished sixth on his debut in Australia. There were glimpses of promise (qualifying fifth in Germany and two sixth place finishes during 2000 for example) but he never bettered that result in two years of trying. His 2001 move to Jaguar, initially as reserve before he replaced the disappointing Luciano Burti, included a best-so-far fifth in Italy but de la Rosa did not score a point during his second season with the team.

McLaren test driver

Out of work, he joined McLaren Mercedes as test driver in 2003 and fulfilled that role for the next seven years. Miles of lonely track time in Barcelona were rewarded with the occasional call up to the race team. De la Rosa finished fifth in the 2005 Bahrain GP when substituting for the injured Juan Pablo Montoya.

The Colombian was dropped by the team during the following season and de la Rosa enjoyed an extended stay in the McLaren MP4-21-Mercedes. That included his finest GP – qualifying fourth and finishing second in changeable conditions in the 2006 Hungarian GP.

De la Rosa was considered for a race seat in 2007 but the team chose promise over experience. Lewis Hamilton was named as team-mate to new star signing Fernando Alonso. However, McLaren’s season was dominated by acrimony between its race drivers and the "Spygate" scandal. The team was found to be in possession of Ferrari’s technical information with emails between Alonso and de la Rosa key to the case.

Formula 1 return with Sauber and HRT

De la Rosa continued testing for the team until a surprise return to racing with a Sauber C29-Ferrari in 2010. However, it was a frustrating season blighted by engine failures. He was dropped after 13 starts, during which seventh in Hungary was his only score.

He returned to testing, first with Pirelli as it prepared for its own F1 return and then with McLaren once more in 2011. De la Rosa’s Sauber C30-Ferrari also finished 12th in the 2011 Canadian GP when deputising for an unwell Sergio Pérez.

Not content with life on the fringes of F1, de la Rosa was part of HRT’s driver line-up for the 2012 season. Now in his forties, he gave his all in an inevitably uncompetitive campaign before the team closed down after the final race. He joined Ferrari as test driver in 2013 and fulfilled that role for two seasons.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2012 F1 World Championship
HRT F1 Team
19 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
25th 0
2011 F1 World Championship
Sauber F1 Team
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
20th 0
2010 F1 World Championship
BMW Sauber F1 Team
13 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
17th 6
2006 F1 World Championship
Team McLaren Mercedes
8 0 1 0
0% win rate
11th 19
2005 F1 World Championship
West McLaren Mercedes
Team McLaren Mercedes
1 (12) 0 0 0
0% win rate
20th 4
2002 F1 World Championship
Jaguar Racing
17 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
2001 F1 World Championship
Jaguar Racing
13 0 0 0
0% win rate
16th 3
2000 F1 World Championship
Orange Arrows F1 Team
17 0 0 0
0% win rate
15th 2
1999 F1 World Championship
Arrows
16 0 0 0
0% win rate
17th 1
1997 All-Japan Formula Nippon Championship 1st -
1997 All-Japan GT Championship 1st -
1995 All-Japan F3 Championship 1st -