The 39-year-old Spaniard was sacked by Sauber after the Italian Grand Prix and quickly signed up to be Pirelli’s tyre development test driver, replacing Nick Heidfeld, the very driver who had replaced him at Sauber.
The Spanish squad’s prospects for 2011 certainly look to have improved after a difficult debut season, with the Murcia-based outfit confirming it had secured the supply of Williams’ transmission units for next season, on top of also being rumoured to have bought the assets and technology of the defunct Toyota F1 program.
The former McLaren test driver recently expressed an interest in driving for the struggling HRT outfit, and sections of the Spanish media certainly believe that it’s more a matter of when, not if, the deal will be announced.
El Confidencial claims that de la Rosa’s sponsorship backing has “increased, not decreased” since departing Sauber, and that he is also HRT’s “first choice” in its prospective 2011 driver line-up.
The Barcelona-born driver already has backing from the El Corte Ingles department store chain, and is believed to have secured backing from Certina watches, Banco Santander and Diageo.
[Original image via LAT]