Milan: 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 February 1.
The first pre-season test starts at the southern Spanish Jerez track on February 5.
De la Rosa, 41, raced for the financially-strapped HRT team, absent from this year's starting line-up.
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.