'I'll not do another season of testing' - de la Rosa
Pedro de la Rosa, dumped last month by Sauber, has said he does not want to return to being a full-time Formula One test driver.
In a stop-start career, de la Rosa, 39, has started 86 races in 11 seasons. After four seasons with Arrows and Jaguar, he then spent seven years as McLaren's test driver, taking part in nine races for them in 2005 and 2006. He returned to full-time action with Sauber this year but was replaced by Nick Heidfeld after the Italian Grand Prix.
Although last week de la Rosa said he was pleased to be returning to the test track - he was appointed by incoming tyre supplier Pirelli as its F1 tester - he has now made clear that is not a permanent option.
"I hope to have a [race] place in Formula One next year," de la Rosa told Dutch magazine formule1.nl. "If my racing career in Formula One is over, I regret that, but it's not the end of the world. One thing is for certain: I will not do another season of testing.
"Even if I only get a place with a team at the back, I would rather that to being a test driver. Even racing in a bad car is better than testing."
Asked if he would be happy in a car at the back of the grid, he said: "At the beginning of your career you settle for any car you can get. Then you're more selective, and at the end of your career you're happy with any offer. For me, there is simply nothing better than racing."
His views on test driving were endorsed by Heidfeld. "Being a reserve driver is hard, because you arrive at a circuit and ask yourself why you're even then if there's nothing for you to drive," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "That I could be involved in the development of the car with Mercedes eased the pain somewhat, but just watching is brutal, especially when you're on site."
"In that situation, being at home is probably better, because at least there are distractions."