Wurz' birthday but de la Rosa gets the present


Although today (February 15) is McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz' 31st birthday, it is teammate Pedro del a Rosa who has (seemingly) got the present.

As testing got underway at Barcelona, the Spaniard revealed that he will take part in the Friday free practice sessions in the first three Grands Prix, while Wurz watches from the sidelines.

"I've been guaranteed the seat for Australia, Malaysia and Bahrain," he told Spanish publication As. "It is one of the final chances I will get.

"For the next races they will decide whether it's Wurz or me," he added. "But at the moment I'm only thinking about those three races. I will try with all my strength, as I usually do."

33-year-old de la Rosa last raced in 2002, when he drove for Jaguar, where he partnered Eddie Irvine. The Spaniard made his GP debut with Arrows in 1999, moving to Prost in 2001. In 63 races he scored 6 points.

Ironically, due to the fact that it finished outside the top four in the 2004 Constructors' Championship, McLaren is able to participate in the Friday practice sessions. Team boss Ron Dennis made various derogatory remarks about the Friday sessions and the teams that took part in them, yet both Renault, and later BAR, put the Friday tests to good use.

At a time when McLaren - along with eight other teams - has agreed to reduce testing, the Friday sessions should prove beneficial.

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Published: 15/02/2005
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