The sources are multiplying all the time with the Swiss and the Spanish now reporting that the announcement of Pedro de la Rosa as Kamui Kobayashi’s team-mate is now imminent. The word is that he will have a one-year contract with an option for a second year. This is believed to be dependent on sponsorship contract being finalised. The word in Spain is that the drive will be funded in part by an organisation called Universia, which is a network of 11,000 universities in 15 countries, which offers information and content for more than 10m students and 850,000 academics. The organisation is heavily supported by Santander. De la Rosa had hoped that to get a drive based solely on his experience as an F1 test driver but such is the need for money at the moment that he has had to deliver cash as well. Although the deal has yet to be confirmed, it appears that it will go ahead.
De la Rosa has been around Formula 1 since 1998, when he was named as a test driver with the Jordan team. In 1999 he raced for Arrows and scored a point on his debut at the Australian GP. In 2000, he scored two points and then moved to Jaguar Racing in 2001 and 2002, but was dropped in 2003. He then became a McLaren test driver but returned at the 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix when Juan Pablo Montoya injured his shoulder and finished fifth. When Montoya quit the team in the middle of 2006 Pedro took over the drive and in Hungary finished second to Jenson Button. He was passed over when McLaren picked Lewis Hamilton for 2007 but has remained McLaren’s test driver.