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Jul 07

De la Rosa would have replaced ill Bianchi – report

Ferrari’s reserve driver was also lined up as the likely German grand prix

2013-06-09_0012Pedro de la Rosa came tantalisingly close to returning to the F1 race grid this weekend at the Nurburgring.

As GPDA president, the veteran Spaniard has played a leading role in the tyre chaos-induced threat of a driver boycott.

And according to Spanish correspondent Manuel Franco, Ferrari’s reserve driver was also lined up as the likely German grand prix substitute for Marussia racer Jules Bianchi.

Bianchi had to pull out of Friday practice at the Nurburgring with a stomach upset, but the rookie Frenchman recovered sufficiently to duly qualify ahead of teammate Max Chilton on Saturday.

“I think another night’s rest will help again,” he said afterwards.

Writing in AS newspaper, correspondent Franco said 42-year-old de la Rosa had been lined up as Bianchi’s successor, even to the point of having a seat prepared.

Franco said the fact Marussia turned to de la Rosa is due to the team’s “good relations with the Scuderia”, with Bianchi the leading name in Ferrari’s driver development academy.

Marussia is expected to switch from Cosworth to Ferrari power for 2014.

source: GMM