De la Rosa happy because McLaren return ‘not easy’ image

( Pedro de la Rosa on Thursday said he is happy to return to the role as McLaren’s main test and reserve driver.

It means Gary Paffett will no longer travel to the grands prix following 40-year-old Spaniard de la Rosa’s abortive return to racing with Sauber last year.

He has also spent time as Pirelli’s test driver and coveted the HRT race seat for 2011, telling reporters in Barcelona that it was a “very difficult” winter.

But in the absence of a race seat, de la Rosa says he is back at home.

“It is not nice to think that the chances of racing again are remote, but the role I have now is the closest thing to that.

“In reality it is not easy to get to return to a team that you have left, so for me it’s doubly gratifying because it’s what I wanted.

“They reopened the door to me which doesn’t always happen in formula one,” he added.

“I have to say I saw it pointless to be with another team. After all the teams I’ve been with, and with my last experience with Pirelli and Toyota, which was very good and I learned a lot, plus my experience with Sauber, I had no desire to go anywhere else.”