McLaren’s de la Rosa ‘more useful’ after Canada image

McLaren might thank Sauber after loaning the Swiss team its reserve driver in Canada.

Pedro de la Rosa was still wearing his McLaren overalls on Friday afternoon when he was drafted in at the last minute to replace Sauber’s unwell regular Sergio Perez.

The 40-year-old Spaniard finished the race but did not score points, but he said he will always remember the 2011 Canadian grand prix.

“I had a blast and I’m going home with an amazing experience in my bag and I’m now more useful as McLaren’s reserve driver, being accustomed to a current car,” de la Rosa told AS sports newspaper.

Sauber’s attention now turns to getting its Mexican rookie Perez back into the car for Valencia, after expecting the 21-year-old to have missed only Monaco after his concussion sustained in the Principality.

The Swiss newspaper Blick said well-known F1 fitness guru Josef Leberer has flown to Mexico City this week to help Perez with his recovery.

Team boss Peter Sauber is quoted as admitting to “slight disappointment” with Kamui Kobayashi’s seventh place despite the Japanese lining up second on the grid before the Montreal re-start.

“The truth is we knew we had no chance against Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari because we lack top speed. But as a private team we can be proud of our season,” he said.