P Edro de la Rosa is simply not to be beaten. Hardly any other driver can refer to so many kilometers in a Formula 1 car. Most of them, however, were collected during test drives. The Spaniard's motorsport career began relatively late. De la Rosa sat in a kart for the first time at the age of 16, but won his first championships just a year later.
The teenager gained his first professional racing experience in 1990 in the national Spanish Formula Ford and the British Formula Renault. Just two years later, he won his first international title in the European Formula Renault. Further milestones on the way to Formula 1 included a title in Japanese Formula 3 (1995), winning the championship in Formula Nippon and the title of Japanese 'All GT Champion' (1996).
1998 : Pedro de la Rosa joins Formula 1
In 1998 it finally went into the premier class. As a test driver for Jordan, de la Rosa gained his first impressions. In the following year he was signed by Arrows as a regular pilot. In a hopelessly inferior car there was a world championship point on its debut in Australia. However, it should be the last in the first season. In the second season with Arrows, the Spaniard doubled his points with two sixth places in Hockenheim and at the Nürburgring.
The move to the Jaguar team followed. But the rise was not noticeable in numbers. Again he only improved his points record by a single point. His second Jaguar season should even end without counting. For 2003, de la Rosa did not get a new contract and had to wait for a new chance as a test driver at McLaren.
Pedro de la Rosa as Montoya replacement
After regular driver Juan Pablo Montoya If he was injured in Bahrain in 2005, the Spaniard achieved a respectable result with fifth place. After the point system was changed, there were four points for it - again one more than his old record.
When Montoya was kicked out by Ron Dennis in the 2006 season, de la Rosa was allowed to play the last eight Race to take over the cockpit. At the Hungarian GP he achieved the best result of his career with second place. But there was no further continuation of the career. Junior Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were set for 2007. Hopes for a job with the planned Prodrive F1 team were dashed.
New opportunity at Sauber for de la Rosa
For a long time, Pedro de la Rosa was only able to underline his potential during test drives To prove. The test ban from the season2009 made for a much quieter life. The Spaniard had enough time for his job as chairman of the F1 Pilots Association (GPDA).
That changed again in 2010. Peter Sauber gave the now 38-year-old a new chance. As a team-mate of rookie Kamui Kobayashi, the man from Barcelona should use his experience. But nothing came of it. De la Rosa was often slower than his teammate. In addition, he kept making mistakes. He achieved his best result with seventh place in Hungary. But that wasn't enough. Two races later he was sacked in Monza and replaced by Nick Heidfeld.
McLaren was happy to take the prodigal son back in. De la Rosa was again test and reserve driver. The next job was in 2011 not in the chrome arrow but again at Sauber. When Sergio Perez was not ready for action in Montreal, De la Rosa stepped in. But the success failed again. The Spaniard crashed into the wall in training. In the rainy race he missed the points in twelfth place.
Anyone who thought that this was the final one was again mistaken. During the winter break, the Spanish Hispania team signed the Iberian. It will be interesting to see if De la Rosa can shine again with the small racing team.