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De la Rosa no longer chasing HRT drive

ESPNF1 Staff
December 13, 2010 « HRT on track for 2011 - Carabante | »
Pedro de la Rosa has all but ruled out a drive with HRT and Jose Ramon Carabante © Sutton Images
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Pedro de la Rosa has played down his chances of racing for HRT in 2011.

The former Sauber driver and current Pirelli tester had been in talks with the Spanish team, but said he was still unsure about the team's future.

"I was very excited about Hispania because I really believed they had an ambitious sporting project," he told AS. "But weeks have passed and I have not heard anything more, so I understand they have not defined the project yet."

He also told Europa Press: "There is really nothing with Hispania. I've always been very clear - with a serious and ambitious sporting project, I would love to be with them. But today, I don't know what their project is."

HRT's team owner Jose Ramon Carabante said: "I would like Pedro to be our driver because he is a friend and he deserves it. But we are not in a rush on the matter of the drivers."

De la Rosa said HRT is relying "heavily on sponsorship" from its drivers and clarified: "I have no sponsors."

He admitted it is possible he might return to McLaren, where for seven years until his 2010 return with Sauber he was the main test driver. "I don't know what McLaren want because we have not talked seriously, but I would like to [go back] ... but now is not the time to think about it."

He said that the drivers with the best chances of securing the remaining seats on the 2011 grid are the ones with powerful sponsors.

"So many teams have not confirmed their drivers because they are looking for someone with money. That's the reality and what is striking about F1 at the moment."

He gave the example of Vitaly Petrov: "He was able to make his debut with a team as good as Renault. I would love to have the same support from Spain that he has in Russia. So now we have to get a major sponsor to open the doors. It's always been that way, but now it's more significant because it's not just the small and the bad teams that need the money from the drivers."

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