Contrary to reports that Giancarlo Fisichella is closing on the race seat with Sauber the Hinwill team has picked Pedro de la Rosa to partner the rookie driver Kamui Kobayashi for the 2010 season.
“Pedro has spent many years working for a top team at the highest technical level. We as a team stand to gain from his experience, and the same goes for young Kamui. The combination of a seasoned racer and an up-and-coming young driver has repeatedly proved a very fruitful one. I don’t expect either of them to disappoint in 2010. Of course it is also crucial that we provide them with a decent car; I feel positive about our in-house progress on that front too. We were able to continue work on our 2010 car as scheduled throughout the recent period of uncertainty.” – Peter Sauber
“I always firmly believed I would be given another chance as a team driver. Since the number of test drives were radically reduced, this was what I was working towards. I’m really excited about the season with Peter Sauber’s team, which has been a solid fixture in Formula One ever since 1993.” – Pedro de la Rosa
Pedro de la Rosa, the 38-year-old Spaniard,has 71 Grands Prix under his belt and worked with McLaren as a test and reserve driver for seven years from 2003 through to 2009. During that period he raced for McLaren the team in nine Grands Prix. In 2005 he finished fifth in Bahrain (substituting for injured JP Montoya) and claimed the fastest race lap. In 2006 he stepped in after Montoya left F1. In eight races he scored 19 points and took second place in the wet Hungarian Grand Prix.
De la Rosa made his first Grand Prix debut in Australia in 1999 for Arrows following his test driver job with Jordan a year earlier. He moved to Jaguar for the 2001 and 2002 seasons. Then came his testing days with McLaren.
The last quality race seat remains with Renault. There is also Nick Heidfeld still without a drive for 2010 season.