Pedro de la Rosa has admitted that the advent of at least three new teams onto the grand prix starting grid in 2010 represents his best chance in years of finding a way back into a Formula 1 race seat – but the Spaniard insists that he must take his time to make sure he makes the right choice about where to go.
de la Rosa has not competed full-time at the highest level since back in 2002 when he raced for Jaguar, and in fact has only ever completed three full seasons in the sport. Symptomatic of his patchy career were a late entry in 2001, a solitary one-off appearance for McLaren-Mercedes in 2005 in place of the unexpectedly injured Juan-Pablo Montoya and a similar call-up to race in the last eight grands prix of 2006 for the Woking-based outfit following the Colombian's premature departure.
Though he managed to tally just a single rostrum finish and 29 points from 72 starts in the top flight, and whilst he will be 39 at the start of the 2010 campaign, the Barcelona native and long-time McLaren test and reserve driver has a wealth of experience and a high reputation for development – meaning his services could be in-demand next year, with the F1 newcomers requiring a steady and accomplished hand to guide them through their early stages.
Whilst de la Rosa has been most regularly linked with Spanish operation Campos, however, he hinted that he has more than one option on the table.
“I have not had so high a possibility to return to race in Formula 1 for years,” he told Spanish newspaper Marca
. “I am calm and satisfied, because the important thing is to have options, even though I am not resting on my laurels. We are going to try to organise something [for 2010], but it is not necessary to make a rush and a wrong choice.”