Pedro de la Rosa has signed to drive with the Sauber team for the 2010 season.
This marks the Spaniard’s first full-time race appointment since the 2002 season when he drove for Jaguar, although he has acted as a drive substitute in the 2005 and 2006 seasons with McLaren during his appointment as the team’s official test and reserve driver
De la Rosa will join ex-Toyota driver Kamui Kobayashi at the team, with the Japanese driver’s signing announced in December.
De la Rosa’s appointment scuppers the aspirations for former Sauber driver and Ferrari test driver, Giancarlo Fisichella, who had been strongly linked with this race seat just days before this announcement.
"I always firmly believed I would be given another chance as a team driver," Pedro said. "Since the number of test drives were radically reduced, this was what I was working towards. I’m really excited about the season with Peter Sauber’s team, which has been a solid fixture in Formula 1."
"Pedro has spent many years working for a top team at the highest technical level," added Team Principal Peter Sauber.
"We as a team stand to gain from his experience and the same goes for young Kamui [Kobayashi]. The combination of a seasoned racer and an up-and-coming young driver has repeatedly proved a very fruitful one.
"I don’t expect either of them to disappoint in 2010. Of course it is also crucial that we provide them with a decent car; I feel positive about our in-house progress on that front too. We were able to continue work on our 2010 car as scheduled throughout the recent period of uncertainty."
Former Minardi driver and Red Bull test driver Robert Doornbos was quick to show his support at Pedro’s appointment, and wrote on his Twitter account, "Go Pedro, I’m happy for you!!! All the best."