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Rumours grow over de la Rosa's future

ESPNF1 Staff
April 23, 2010 « Several teams still marooned in Shanghai | »
Pedro de la Rosa: disappointing so far © Sutton Images
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Speculation over the future of Pedro de la Rosa's race seat at Sauber continues to mount in the light of suggestions Peter Sauber is disappointed with the time it is taking him to reacclimatise to racing.

According to France's Auto Hebdo Luca Filippi is a possible replacement for 39-year-old de la Rosa, who had been signed to lead the development of the disappointing C29 car.

Italian Filippi, 24, is an experienced GP2 driver who has also had tests with the F1 teams Minardi, Honda and Super Aguri. The report said he might be on board as soon as the Turkish Grand Prix at the end of May. "It would be a dream," Filippi said, "but I prefer to concentrate on Auto GP."

When linked with a Super Aguri seat some years ago, it was rumoured that Filippi's sponsors were promising around €10 million in backing.

Meanwhile, de la Rosa said he was hopeful the Suber's poor reliability would be sorted before his home race in Spain on May 9. "We have high hopes for Barcelona," he said. "We have new parts to improve the car's performance, it is a major leap. And we hope that Ferrari have now solved the engine problem."

He also welcomed the arrival from Force India of James Key, who replaces Sauber's departing long-time technical boss Willy Rampf. "I think he is the right man for the job and already during the [China]weekend we realised that he knows what he is talking about.He now knows what are our weak points and will work on them.

"In this business it's always good to have fresh ideas from people who have worked in different environments and with different cars. It's important to have new people from time to time. If you look at a top team, every year or two they get new people from other teams."