De La Rosa signs two year HRT deal

By on Monday, November 21, 2011

Pedro de la Rosa. Photo credit: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Pedro de La Rosa will return to Formula One next season after inking a two year deal with HRT. A press conference will take place tomorrow.

HRT statement:

HRT F1 Team continues to take important strides towards the consolidation of its solid project for 2012. After the recent technical announcements and with the new headquarters established in Spain, HRT takes a further step forward by announcing that Pedro de la Rosa will be a driver for the team next season. Reaching an agreement with the driver from Barcelona was a long desired target and a fundamental pillar for HRT F1 Team in its renewed project, which began in July after Thesan Capital acquired the team.
Pedro de la Rosa will join the team next January and will do so for two years. The alliance was possible thanks to the interest of all the parties involved; although in the end it was the support of his current team, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, which enabled the deal to come through.
Born on the 24th of February 1971 in Barcelona, Pedro de la Rosa has been a pioneer in Spanish motorsports and has built up a prestigious reputation worldwide through his results in Formula 1 over the years. He is, without a doubt, an important acquisition for HRT F1 Team for the 2012 campaign.
Pedro de la Rosa: “This is a very important step in my sporting career and one of the most meditated ones I’ve taken. I’m at a very good stage in terms of maturity and am prepared to take on this challenge, which motivates me hugely. When deciding on joining this project, for me there were three decisive factors: my desire to return to the active competition, the fact that HRT is a Spanish team and getting to know the people leading this project, Luis Pérez-Sala being amongst them. I’m here to work hard, with modesty and humility, accepting where we are now but keeping in mind where we want to be in 2 years time. For me, this is the time to put into practice everything that I have learnt over the years at international top level racing teams so that we can grow together. I am proud that Spain has an F1 team and that I have this opportunity to be its driver. I can only show my gratitude towards HRT for having trusted in me for this. Lastly, I can’t forget to thank McLaren for allowing me to take this step. I have been very happy over the eight seasons I spent with them, growing as a driver and person. Without them I wouldn’t be here today”.
Colin Kolles, HRT Team Principal: “The team’s objective has always been to reinforce itself in every aspect: economically, technically and in a sporting aspect. Without a doubt, the addition of Pedro de la Rosa for next year will be a fundamental foundation in the development of our project. We are a young team that needs to continue progressing and with this incorporation I am convinced that we will do just that. Apart from being a great person he is an experienced driver as his career and prestige in Formula 1 prove. I give him my most sincere welcome. I am sure that he will adapt perfectly and that together we will achieve great things”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, HRT Sports Advisor: “We have been working very hard for months on next season with the aim of making HRT F1 Team a more stable, competitive and reliable team and, little by little, this hard work is paying off. Having Pedro on board for this project is great news and with his ability and experience we are sure that we can take an important stride. I would like to thank Pedro for his trust and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes for its predisposition to reach a positive agreement for everybody”.
De La Rosa made his debut with Arrows in 1999, before a stint with Jaguar led him to become McLaren's test driver from 2003. He made several appearances during that period, including the second half of the 2006 season following Juan Pablo Montoya's switch to NASCAR. De La Rosa returned to racing with Sauber in 2010 but was replaced by Nick Heidfeld for the last 5 races of the season. He made a one off appearance this season in place of the unwell Sergio Perez in Montreal. De La Rosa's 88 races in F1 have yielded a best result of 2nd in the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix

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