De la Rosa: “It’s a David versus Goliath situation”

2012 F1 season

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Pedro de la Rosa, HRT, 2011

Pedro de la Rosa says driving for F1 minnows HRT will be “a David versus Goliath situation” having joined the team for 2012.

The team issued the following Q&A with its new driver:

When did the conversations to close this deal with HRT begin? When was it signed?
Pedro de la Rosa: Because of my relationship with Luis Perez-Sala, we started talking about HRT’s project for 2012 already back in July. To begin with, I didn’t contemplate joining but the more I got to know about it week by week, and I saw what they were doing and how they were doing it, I understood that I had to be a part of this Spanish project. The deal was signed a few days ago.

What does it mean to you to be the first official Spanish driver in the first ever Spanish team to take part in a whole F1 championship?
PdlR: For me it is an honour to be their driver. It couldn’t be another way, a truly Spanish team with a Spanish driver. Nothing could make me happier than this and, although I’m aware of all the work we have ahead of us, it’s a fascinating task which will require everyone’s support.

What attracted you to this project?
PdlR: Various things attracted me towards it, but mainly the fact that it’s a Spanish team. Right now they’re at the back but their potential to grow is tremendous. What convinced me was the serious and realistic approach of Luiz Perez-Sala and Saul Ruiz de Marcos back in July and how they have done everything they said without making too much noise but in a professional and disciplined way.

What role did McLaren play in you making this decision?
PdlR: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes helped me take this step. It’s no secret that I had a contract with McLaren for the next few years so this was only possible because of them. But contractual matters apart, I know that without my eight-year learning curve at McLaren I would not be here today, so I can only thank them because today I am a much better driver than when I joined them in 2003.

What do you think you can contribute to the team?
PdlR: Above all, I am here to contribute with hard work, but also with the experience that I’ve accumulated over the years at big teams. The fact is that I’m coming to a small, modest Spanish team and together we are going to help it grow so that Spain can be proud of its team. It’s a David versus Goliath situation, which is extremely exciting.

What are your targets at HRT?
PdlR: It’s too early to set myself a target. Right now the most important thing is to set the bases for this project and to grow and be true to our style: perseverance, work, determination and humility. The car will be a result of this process, but we have to work hard to be the best of the new teams.

Will you continue to receive the backing of your personal sponsors?
PdlR: The aim is to continue to work with the sponsors I’ve always had, as usual.

You were a pioneer in this sport, you made your debut in F1 12 years ago and you have stayed at the very top since then, what is the key to your success?
PdlR: The key for me is to sleep well and get up every morning with the strength and desire to take on difficult tasks and give my all. And like almost everybody, I can only do this if my aim is motivating. This season, at the Singapore GP, I recall looking at myself in the mirror and saying: ??I can’t take another year of sitting on the pit wall and watching how the other drivers pass by??. This detail stayed with me and it defines me very well.

How important is it for Spanish motorsport to have a Spanish team at the pinnacle of motorsport?
PdlR: A few years ago I said that the one thing pending for Spain was for it to have a Spanish team in F1. We have some of the best fans in the world, a two time World Champion, strong international companies, and now an F1 team. We’re also going through a crisis and that is why we must stand firmly together. I am proud that HRT can hand out employment to people here.

Will you return to McLaren like you did in 2011 after your spell with Sauber?
PdlR: My future is with HRT, I’m not passing by. I’m one of those people who finish a project they have started.

A message for the Spanish fans
PdlR: I can only say to the fans that I hope they’re as happy as I am. I feel as happy as I did the day I found out I was going to make my debut in F1. The aim is not to win but to grow.

2012 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “De la Rosa: “It’s a David versus Goliath situation””

  1. I wonder who the 2nd driver will be, that’ll be very interesting. I don’t see them kicking out Liuzzi and I’m guessing maybe Ricciardo is going to move to a Toro Roso? Maybe?

    1. why would they keep Liuzzi? better to bring back Karthikeyan for that matter, because at least he’s a pay driver.

      All in all, I hope they stick with Ricciardo or try another talented young guy, to complement with DLR.

    2. I read Buemi’s reactions to his last two retirements as confirmation that Ricciardo is on his way to STR. I’m guessing Liuzzi will be in the other seat, he hasn’t been that bad and they might not actually need a pay driver since the buy out.

  2. I suppose it is a bit like david and goliath, but only if you replace david’s rock with a ping pong ball.

    1. or a rolled up bit of tissue paper

      1. or a cotton ball.

    2. More like David vs. GoliathS, if you ask me. :D

  3. I think this is an excellent appointment by HRT. They don’t need some young guy who takes risks, doesn’t have the experience to get out the way properly (as we saw in Abu Dhabi) and could get demotivated halfway through the season. Or someone who is just there to keep themselves in the F1 limelight (like Liuzzi). I imagine Pedro clearly knows this will be his last driving job in F1 and he can just concentrate on developing the car and getting the most out of it.

  4. I echo most of the comments saying what a good appointment this is. Thesan Capital, who bought HRT in July, had said they wanted to make the team more Spanish and a Spanish driver obviously makes sense (Alonso wasn’t available apparently!).

    Maybe Kolles isn’t what they need either?

  5. This story warms my heart. Good for PLR to make this kind of dedication to a program that may be starting to warm up. His presence will certainly become a “Schumacherism” for HRT and those within the team.

    Regardless of the 2012 results they will become better as a collective group and that will be the basis for the team and its future drivers to grow from. How fitting all of this could be if DLR can bring points to the team and give them a shot of real motivation.

    Looking forward to the new car and hope they will get a better livery.

    1. Looking forward to the new car and hope they will get a better livery.

      You kidding? HRT have easily one of the best liveries on the grid! I hope they go back to the same artist for next year (forgot his name atm).

      1. The checkerboard on the car is ridiculous….

  6. Rename the article “Pedro vs. Sebaliath”

  7. I must say if they choose Liuzzi to partner him HRT will get a boost in my likings. Of course I want Liuzzi to remain, but when a small team chooses two experienced (and somewhat old) drivers rather than fielding new talents (Chandhok and Senna in 2010, Ricciardo in 2011) it means it really wants to improve. Lotus and Virgin have one experienced driver and a younger one, and HRT have this year as well, but whilst de la Rosa isn’t the best choice to win races at Red Bull, he can bring HRT up through the field.

    1. huh? lotus have 2 experienced drivers, hekki and trulli.
      Unless you mean renault? who are lotus next year…..

    2. I agree with that @Fixy, and surely De La Rosa can bring in some approaches to development and using the simulator (they did agree to use that with Williams, didn’t they?) to help their course.

      And Liuzzi is said to be solid for car development as well.

      Only thing i find curious, or even superfluous / annoying is this heavy focus on being spanish. I get that its something (maybe the only thing) that sets them apart, but I don’t think its that big a thing for an F1 team to focuss on.

  8. Genuinely pleased for Pedro, great to see such a nice guy back in a race seat.

  9. It is definitely not a “David versus Goliath” situation. In the David versus Goliath story David wins.

  10. Hope he helps the team as HRT do need some.

  11. What role did McLaren play in you making this decision?
    PdlR: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes helped me …

    LOL, amazing, all that corporate talk still stuck to him even though he is no longer part of the team!!!

    good luck Pedro

  12. What a great little interview, i’m really excited by this for next year! Here’s hoping that HRT can make the first test.

    Nice touch from De La Rosa regarding jobs for Spanish people, good to see his head is in a good place.

  13. I enjoyed ridding of that stupid giant

Comments are closed.