Pedro de la Rosa has already signed a contract to race with the newly Mercedes-powered and McLaren-equipped Force India team in 2009, the Spanish press declared on Tuesday.

Pedro de la Rosa has already signed a contract to race with the newly Mercedes-powered and McLaren-equipped Force India team in 2009, the Spanish press declared on Tuesday.

The Spaniard, currently McLaren's primary test and reserve driver, climbed into the Silverstone based team's Ferrari-powered 2008 car at Barcelona in the morning, and he will remain in the cockpit for the duration of the test.

The Spanish newspaper Diario AS said de la Rosa's signing will be confirmed within a few weeks, insisting the 37-year-old is almost certainly taking the seat of the Roman veteran Giancarlo Fisichella.

In a recently-confirmed deal, Force India will utilise McLaren expertise, KERS systems, hydraulics, transmissions and Mercedes engines in 2009 and beyond.

"I am very happy to do this test with Force India, thanks to McLaren," de la Rosa confirmed on Tuesday.

"I am excited, but this test does not mean anything. I have nothing to say, and nothing to lose," he added.

To the Spanish newspaper El Pais, he explained: "For the moment, this is just two days of tests and nothing more. My contract is with McLaren, and I thank them for allowing me to do this.

"So far, nobody has promised me anything," de la Rosa insisted.