Pedro de la Rosa insists he is surprised by Sauber's decision to replace him for the final five rounds of the 2010 F1 season.
The Spaniard joined the team at the start of the year for his first full season in a race seat since 2002 – although there were occasional outings for McLaren in the intervening period after he joined the Woking-based team as a test driver.
De la Rosa's racing return has been far from straightforward with a series of issues during the season restricting him to just one points finish, while team-mate Kamui Kobayashi suffered an equally difficult start to the year but has since taken five top ten finishes.
After Sauber re-signed Kobayashi for 2011, de la Rosa admitted he was unsure what his future with the team may hold, with the Spaniard revealing last week that he expected to find out if he would retain his drive towards the end of the season.
With that in mind, de la Rosa admitted he was surprised to find out that the Italian GP will be his final race for the team after it confirmed the re-signing of Nick Heidfeld for the remainder of the year.
“I am surprised by the team's decision, but I respect it and would like to wish everyone good luck for the remainder of the season,” he said. “I still intend to be in Formula One for 2011.”
De la Rosa could yet find himself being offered the opportunity to replace Heidfeld at test driver with Pirelli, with the 2011 tyre supplier needing to find a replacment for the German for the remaining tests planned prior to the resumption of official F1 testing in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year.