Pedro de la Rosa says he is extremely motivated by his new role at the Ferrari team after being signed as a development driver for the 2013 Formula 1 season.
De la Rosa joins friends and fellow Spaniards Fernando Alonso and Marc Gene at the Maranello squad after being left without a racing seat when the HRT team failed to find a buyer at the end of 2012. The 41-year-old Catalan will assist Ferrari with its simulation program, and he said he cannot wait to get started.
"It is amazingly motivating to be working for a team like Ferrari, not just because of what it represents in the history of Formula 1 and motoring in general, but also because it will be a completely new and very stimulating experience for me," said de la Rosa. "I really hope I can get to work as soon as possible and to help in the development of the car. I am happy to be collaborating with Fernando again and also to be working with Felipe [Massa].
"There's not much time until Australia, but there is a lot to do and I am available to help the team from right now."
De la Rosa has a total of 104 grand prix starts to his name, with his best result a second place in the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, where he raced a McLaren.
DE LA ROSA'S F1 CAREER
1998: Becomes Jordan test driver after winning Formula 3, Formula Nippon and Super GT titles in Japan.
1999-2000: Arrows race driver.
2001-2002: Starts '01 as Prost test driver before replacing Luciano Burti at Jaguar from Spanish Grand Prix.
2003-2009: McLaren test driver. Makes several starts in place of Juan Pablo Montoya in 2005 and '06, and takes first podium in Hungary '06.
2010: Makes surprise racing return with Sauber, but dropped after Italian GP.
2011: Becomes test driver for Pirelli for a spell, before rejoining McLaren as reserve. Makes a one-off return to a Sauber race seat to deputise for injured Sergio Perez in Canada.
2012: Back on the grid again with HRT, but team folds at end of season.