Pedro de la Rosa celebrates his 39th birthday today!
The Spaniard is making his first full-time appearance in F1 with Sauber since his last stint with Jaguar in 2003, although he has deputised on several occasions in 2005-6 with McLaren.
After dominant success in the Japanese formulae, de la Rosa’s first F1 venture was as a test driver for Jordan. Armed with Repsol sponsorship, he debuted with Arrows in 1999 (above), scoring a point with 6th place at his first race. He remained with the team for 2000, and impressed many in the paddock with his speed on his way to several points’ finishes.
With a contract in his pocket for 2001, he was dropped at the eleventh hour and settled with Prost as a test driver. By the fourth round of the season, he was with Jaguar in a straight swap with Luciano Burti. He stayed with the Big Cat for two seasons, and was dropped after the end of the 2002 season.
Pedro picked up a test driver berth with McLaren in 2003, and remained there for seven years before the Sauber call-up came along.
After Michael Schumacher (who is 41), Pedro is the second-oldest driver on the 2010 F1 grid.