Mexican teenager Gutierrez lands Sauber test role

By Gareth Llewellyn
formula 1
Mexican teenager Esteban Gutierrez has been confirmed as Sauber's test and reserve driver for 2011 as his main backer Telmex move closer to a sponsorship deal

formula 1

Mexican teenager Esteban Gutierrez has been confirmed as Sauber’s test and reserve driver for 2011 as his main backer Telmex move closer to a sponsorship deal.

The 19-year-old, who tested for Sauber last December as reward for winning the Formula BMW Europe title, will work for the Hinwil-based team at the Abu Dhabi young drivers’ test at the end of the season.

Team principal Peter Sauber said: “Esteban is extremely mature for his age, and it has been a great pleasure to have him with us a great deal of the time this year as an affiliated driver. The team was rooting for him during his intelligent fighting performances in the GP3 Series.

“We are confident he will continue to develop strongly. With his modest manner and keen desire to learn, he has also made himself very popular among the team.”

Gutierrez, who won the GP3 championship this year with five victories, was affiliated to Sauber this season allowing him access to the pit garage, pit radio, and technical briefings, in order to build up his knowledge of how Formula 1 works.

“That way I learnt a great deal about the professionalism and practical procedures in the Formula 1 team,” said the teenager. “Plus, in early September I had an opportunity to attend the team’s fitness camp with the two team drivers.

“Formula 1 is my ambition, and I’m really grateful to Peter Sauber for his confidence in me and my ability.”

Gutierrez will be joined at the young drivers’ test along with F2 champion Dean Stoneman for Williams, and Jerome d’Ambrosio for Virgin Racing, as well as others to be confirmed.

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