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West McLaren Mercedes confirms de la Rosa 03 Apr 2003

The car of Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren is returned to the pits after suffering a puncture in qualifying.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 8 March 2003

West McLaren Mercedes has officially confirmed Pedro de la Rosa as its second test driver. The 32 year-old Spaniard began working for the team on a test-by-test basis early in March, and was recently second fastest during tests for the team in Barcelona.

"I'm really excited about joining as a test driver," de la Rosa said. "I am impressed with the professionalism of everybody involved. It was a good feeling to be back behind the wheel of a Formula One car again, and I am looking forward to immersing myself fully in the development programme alongside David, Kimi and Alex."

McLaren managing director Martin Whitmarsh said: "As a consequence of the demands of our intensive test and development programme, we felt it would be beneficial for the entire team to have an additional permanent driver resource. We have already used Pedro for a couple of tests immediately following the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix, and the team was impressed with his feedback and application. Pedro had substantial Formula One experience, and will therefore be able to maximise the extensive development programme he will undertake for us during the season. We continue to be pleased with Alex, whose focused and committed work is vital to the team and he will remain as reserve driver for Grand Prix weekends."