“Nonsense. There’s nothing to it”
Maria de Villota has been signed up as an expert pundit for Spanish television Antena 3′s coverage of the 2013 formula one season.
The Spaniard lost an eye in a near-fatal testing crash whilst serving as a Marussia test driver last year, but has made a good recovery. “Last week they gave me permission to return to driving,” said the 32-year-old.
Pedro de la Rosa looks set to continue his role at the head of the F1 drivers’ union, despite dropping off the actual racing grid for 2013.
The veteran Spaniard, however, will still be at the grands prix in his new role as Ferrari’s development test driver, and so according to El Mundo Deportivo newspaper he will likely remain president of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA).
Felipe Massa, who clocked the fastest overall time at last week’s Jerez test, has declared the Ferrari F138 “better” than its predecessor.
“It’s more consistent, better in braking, in and out of the corners and easier to understand,” he is quoted by Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper. The Italian team’s experienced new test driver Pedro de la Rosa, who tried the 2013 car on Friday, agreed: “The car is well balanced and responds well to changes.”
Pedro de la Rosa’s Ferrari career got off to a smoky start on Friday morning, as the first test of the 2013 pre-season wraps up in southern Spain.
Taking over from Felipe Massa at Jerez, as Fernando Alonso trains in Dubai, the team’s new development driver and Spaniard de la Rosa was on only his second installation lap when he “stopped on track”.
Luca di Montezemolo has moved to play down the ‘Jerez controversy’ by insisting Fernando Alonso is not in charge at Ferrari.
First, some suggested that Alonso – Ferrari’s undisputed number 1 – had hand-picked Spanish countryman and former McLaren colleague Pedro de la Rosa as his test driver for 2013. Then, it emerged that de la Rosa would be standing in for Alonso as this week’s official test action begins at Jerez.
James Rossiter, a British driver in the FIA’s world endurance championship, will test Force India’s newly-launched 2013 car next week.
Now 29, a few years ago Rossiter was a Honda and Super Aguri tester and almost signed up with the ill-fated USF1 as a race driver. Today, as well as racing Lotus sports cars, he works with Force India in the Silverstone based team’s driver simulator.
Pedro de la Rosa on Monday said the fact Fernando Alonso “wants” to work with him at Ferrari has made him “very proud”.
The fact test driver de la Rosa has joined his countryman and former McLaren colleague at the Italian team for 2013 was interpreted by some as a further sign of the increasing influence wielded by Spaniard Alonso at Ferrari.
Felipe Massa insists he is not worried about the apparently ever-greater influence wrought by his teammate Fernando Alonso at Ferrari.
Alonso didn’t choose de la Rosa – Domenicali
While praising Felipe Massa’s recent return to form, Stefano Domenicali insists Ferrari’s driver pairing is deliberately no “dream team”. Stefano Domenicali has denied Fernando Alonso pushed for the hiring of fellow Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa as Ferrari’s new simulator driver.
Pedro de la Rosa, HRT’s lead driver in 2012, has joined boss Luis Perez-Sala in admitting that the Spanish team has folded.
Spaniard de la Rosa, who was contracted to keep racing this year, has already said he is on the lookout for a new role elsewhere as test or reserve driver. “There has been no official announcement,” the 41-year-old told the Spanish sports daily Marca, “but we all feel that the project will end.
Pedro de la Rosa has acknowledged that, with HRT closing its doors, he is not expecting to simply stroll back into his job as McLaren’s reserve driver.
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