Seems as if the saying 'old is gold' is no longer just a well worn cliché. Forty-year-old Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa will join 42-year-old Michael Schumacher and, by the looks of it, 39-year-old Rubens Barrichello on the Formula One grid for the 2012 season.
The former Jaguar, McLaren and Sauber driver who has 86 F1 starts to his name signed a two-year contract with HRT, which comes into effect next January. The highlight of De la Rosa's F1 career that started in 1999 with Arrows was a second place finish in the 2006 Hungarian GP while he was partnering Kimi Raikkonen at McLaren for the last eight races of the season after Juan Pablo Montoya left the team (and F1 as well) following that year's United States GP.
De la Rosa became famous in F1 as a highly regarded test driver for McLaren when he joined the team in 2005 and retained that role until the end of the 2009 season. He made his competitive return to F1 with Sauber in 2010 before signing up as Pirelli's official test driver as the Italian tyre manufacturer prepared to take over Bridgestone's role as the championship's sole tyre supplier from 2011.
HRT is yet to announce, however, who will partner De La Rosa at the Spanish team. The team has divided driving duties amongst six drivers since it made its F1 debut last year, including Karun Chandhok and Narain Karthikeyan. The most recent driver to get behind the wheel of one of their cars was Red Bull junior driver Daniel Ricciardo, who replaced Karthikeyan after this year's British GP before partnering him at the inaugural Indian GP.