• 2010 News

Pedro de la Rosa denies Sauber link

ESPNF1 Staff / GMM
January 4, 2010 « Jenson Button makes first McLaren appearance | »
Pedro de la Rosa position in 2010 is uncertain © Sutton Images

Pedro de la Rosa has denied reports he will join Sauber in 2010, according to a story in the Spanish press

Swiss newspaper Blick, which has close ties to the Peter Sauber-led team, reported he would be confirmed soon barring "an earthquake in Hinwil". However, Diario Sport, a Spanish daily sports newspaper, said de la Rosa is denying the reports. Additional Details were not given.

Spaniard de la Rosa, who will turn 39 next month, last raced full-time in 2002 with Jaguar. He has since been McLaren's test and reserve driver, and the El Mundo newspaper reported recently the team had given him until the last day of 2009 to decide on his F1 role for 2010.

NZZ am Sonntag quoted Peter Sauber as admitting that "an experienced man" with "new knowledge for the team" had been signed to partner Kamui Kobayashi in 2010. He also ruled out that this driver was Nick Heidfeld.

Sauber also said he had "not decided" when an application to change the name of the team would be made. In the wake of BMW's withdrawal and the collapse of the Qadbak buyout, the 66-year-old Sauber stepped in to rescue the outfit he founded in the early 90s.

Sauber said that agreeing a new name was not an immediate priority. "[It's] currently called BMW Sauber F1 Team, because we registered ourselves as such with the FIA, and that's how we will line up. It is not decided at present when we will submit an application for a change of the name."

He also admitted to disappointment that, after 15 years with Sauber, Malaysian oil company Petronas decided to switch its sponsorship to Mercedes for 2010 and beyond.

"We knew that Petronas wanted to be with an automobile manufacturer," said Sauber. "I was disappointed but not surprised. It has no direct impact on the budget for 2010, but of course it hurts. More money is always better, although of course we will try to have a title sponsor."