de la Rosa and Paffet back with McLaren

Pedro de la Rosa has returned to McLaren as its official test and reserve driver. The Spanish driver worked with the team for seven seasons, beginning in 2003, before moving to Sauber last year. Pedro has driven a mammoth 361 Formula 1 test days in his long career (fourth on the all-time list behind only Luca Badoer [469], Alex Wurz [382] and Jarno Trulli [381]), encompassing 22,763 laps and 104,248 kilometers. The team will also be retaining the services of 2005 German Touring Car (DTM) champion and 2002 German Formula 3 champion Gary Paffett.

“Of all the teams I’ve driven for in Formula 1, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is the one that really feels like home," said de la Rosa. “So I’m very excited about returning to the team to help push the development of the MP4-26. Lewis and Jenson already have an extremely positive and productive working relationship – so, building on and adding to their existing rapport, I’m aiming to do everything I can to help them get even more from our car, our engineers and our technical resources back at the McLaren Technology Centre."

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh added: “I know I speak for all my colleagues when I say that I’m delighted that Pedro has chosen to return to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. He rejoins us with even greater experience, and his motivation and attention to detail remain as sharp as ever. His recruitment adds considerable strength in depth to our driver line-up. With two World Champion race drivers in Lewis and Jenson, and two of the world’s most experienced and capable development drivers in Pedro and Gary, we feel we have a quartet of talent that is absolutely second-to-none."

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