De la Rosa happy with McLaren role

Pedro de la Rosa has revealed he plans to remain McLaren’s full-time reserve driver for a few more years.

After a long time in the backup role, the Spanish veteran finally made his return to racing last year with Sauber, but he was ultimately dropped and spent the rest of the season testing tyres for new supplier Pirelli.

For 2011, he is back in his old McLaren role where he is prepared at any moment to step in for Jenson Button or Lewis Hamilton — or Sauber’s Sergio Perez as he did this year after the Mexican’s Monaco crash.

De la Rosa, 40, said the downside is that a dedicated reserve driver cannot afford to commit even part-time to another racing series.

“You can’t have one foot here and one foot there,” he insisted. “You would end up doing both categories at 80 per cent and run out of motivation and lose your contract.

“So when people ask me if I would like to race as well then of course I would, but is it the right thing to do? The answer is always the same, that I’m not willing to jeopardise my future in F1.

“Right now it’s the only thing that interests me, so I am quite proud to be here and calm and I have no intention to change strategy in the coming years,” he added.