Pedro de la Rosa has refused to comment on widespread speculation in Spanish newspapers that he is a leading candidate to race with the newly McLaren-Mercedes equipped Force India team in 2009.

Pedro de la Rosa has refused to comment on widespread speculation in Spanish newspapers that he is a leading candidate to race with the newly McLaren-Mercedes equipped Force India team in 2009.

But 37-year-old de la Rosa, who is McLaren's chief test driver, confirmed this week to the Spanish publication Sport that he would indeed like to return to the grid.

"Of course, like all drivers, what I really want to do is to race," said the Spaniard, who has contested 72 grands prix, most recently for McLaren in Brazil two years ago.

De la Rosa insisted, however, that his current task is to aid the development of McLaren's cars.

Referring to the speculation, he said from his home in Zurich: "At the moment, there is nothing to say."

He declined to comment at all to Diario AS, the newspaper that speculates that de la Rosa could split the Force India racing role with his McLaren test duties.

The Barcelona-born driver is expected to test for McLaren at Circuit de Catalunya next week.