Jan 16 (Reuters) - Spaniard Pedro De la Rosa has joined Ferrari in a development role for the 2013 season, the Italian Formula One team said on Wednesday.
Team principal Stefano Domenicali also told reporters, at a media event in the Dolomites resort of Madonna di Campiglio, that Ferrari will launch their 2013 car at the Maranello factory on Feb 1.
The first pre-season test starts at the southern Spanish Jerez track on Feb 5.
De la Rosa, 41, raced for the financially-strapped HRT team, absent from this year’s starting line-up after failing to find a buyer, last season. He was a McLaren test driver for eight seasons.
The move reunites him with compatriot Fernando Alonso, the double world champion who was runner-up in the championship last year for Ferrari, after they were together at McLaren in 2007 in Alonso’s sole season with that team.
Ferrari also have Spaniard Marc Gene as a development driver, but De La Rosa will focus more on work with the simulator.
De la Rosa made his Formula One debut with Arrows in 1999 and raced for Ferrari-powered Sauber in 2010 as well as a one-off appearance in 2011.
“Your experience with the simulator will be fantastic for the team. Great news,” said Gene on his Twitter feed. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)