Sauber Motorsport has signed up the 19-year-old Mexican Esteban Gutierrez as its Formula One test and reserve driver for 2011. Gutierrez has already worked with the team during the 2010 season as an affiliated driver. In November he will be in the cockpit of the C29 for the test drives following the season final in Abu Dhabi. He gleaned his first Formula One experience behind the wheel of the BMW Sauber F1.09 at the Young Driver Days in Jerez in December 2009.
Gutierrez took a comfortable victory in the 2010 GP3 Championship, in which he was racing for ART. He notched up three pole positions, was on the podium a total of nine times and won five of the 16 races.
Team principal Peter Sauber: “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.”
As an affiliated driver, Gutierrez had open access to the pit garage, the pit radio and the technical briefings. “That way I learnt a great deal about the professionalism and practical procedures in the Formula One team,” says the Mexican. “Plus, in early September I had an opportunity to attend the team’s fitness camp with the two team drivers. Formula One is my ambition, and I’m really grateful to Peter Sauber for his confidence in me and my ability.”
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