No more a rookie
Esteban Gutiérrez finished his debut 2013 season in Formula One as best rookie in 16th in the drivers’ championship. With his great talent he has demonstrated that he’s got what it takes for the top echelon of motor racing. Already he is well integrated in the team, where he is valued as an open, loyal and politely reserved young driver.
Gutiérrez began his career in karting. He then finished runner-up in the Formula BMW USA series in 2007 and went on to win the Formula BMW Europe crown a year later. After a spell in the Formula 3 Euro Series, he switched to the GP3 Series in 2010 and stormed to the championship title with five race wins. Two seasons in GP2 followed, the second of which (2012) saw him collect three victories and finish third in the standings. Gutiérrez was given his first chance to test for the BMW Sauber F1 Team in 2009 and further opportunities occurred in the next few years.
The team got to know Gutiérrez in 2008. He drove an outstanding season in Formula BMW Europe, which earned him the reward of a Formula One test drive in Jerez at the end of 2009. The young Mexican acquitted himself well and Sauber took him under its wing as an affiliated driver for 2010. The track schedules dovetailed nicely: with the GP3 races being held against the backdrop of the European Formula One events, Gutiérrez was always on location. That gave him frequent opportunities to listen in on the radio messages from the F1 garage and take part in technical meetings. He quickly grew into the team, was promoted to test and reserve driver in 2011 and Formula One driver in 2013. Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn: “Last season he experienced how hard it can be for a rookie to step into Formula One. He had a tough start, nevertheless he improved significantly throughout the season in qualifying as well as in the races, and finished the season as best rookie in the drivers’ championship. We are confident that he will be able to translate his experience he gained into good results.”
Gutiérrez has four brothers and a sister, him being the second youngest. Chauffeuring all of them around individually was not an option for the parents, and so it was rather convenient that Esteban discovered karting as a hobby at the same time as his brother Andres, seven years his senior. For the older brother it was to remain a hobby: today he works for his father’s business, which includes a supermarket chain, a wholesaler for the outlets, and a steel company.
“As children we were always busy doing things and we also had a lot of different toys,” recalled Gutiérrez. “However, when I started clamouring for a go-kart, my father was initially opposed. Fortunately, my cousin already had a go-kart, which helped my case.” After cutting his teeth in kart racing in 2004, his career soon picked up speed. At the age of 13 he began competing in races, at 15 he had switched to a single-seater raceing car, and at 16 he was lining up on the grid in Europe for the first time.
Gutiérrez has been with Sauber for four years now. He feels comfortable and is looking forward to the continuing collaboration. “I am happy to be able to continue as a driver for the Sauber F1 Team. It was a steep learning curve during the past season, but working together with the team I was able to improve continuously. It will be my fourth year with the team, the second as a racing driver, and I feel comfortable to take the next step. The technical challenges in 2014 will be massive. Therefore it will be even more important to know the people you are working with very well. I will do my very best to improve even more and support the team as best as I possibly can.”
|Date / Place of birth||5th August 1991 / Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico|
|Height / Weight||1.80 m / 63 kg|
|Hobbies||Karting, motorbike trials, golf, skiing, virtual racing|
|Favourite food||Italian cuisine and sushi|
|Favourite music||Coldplay, Muse, Kings of Leon|
|Favourite race track||Hockenheim|
|Languages||Spanish, English, French|
|2004||Kart racing: Mexican Rotax Max Challenge|
|2005||Kart racing: Mexican Rotax Max Challenge, 3rd place in the Grand Nationals in South Bend|
|2006||Kart racing: Mexican Rotax Max Challenge, 1st place North Mexican Series, 4th place in the Mexican Grand Nationals in Zacatecas; Camkart Challenge Mexico: 5 wins in 5 races; tests Formula Renault 2000 Ayrton Senna award and trophy for Achievement and Sportsmanship|
|2007||2nd place Formula BMW USA, Rookie of the Year, 4 wins, 8 podiums, 9 poles; tests A1 GP; Formula BMW races in Hockenheim and World Final in Valencia|
|2008||1st place Formula BMW Europe, 7 wins in 16 races, 12 podiums, 3 poles; 3rd place Formula BMW World Final in Mexico City; Formula Master races in Imola and German Formula 3 Championship in Oschersleben; tests Formula 3 Euro Series|
|2009||9th place Formula 3 Euro Series, 3 podiums (1 in the F3 Euro Series and 2 in the British F3 Int.-Invitational Division) tests Formula One (BMW Sauber F1 Team) and GP2, youngest Mexican driver in history to test an F1 Car, at 18 years old|
|2010||1st place GP3 Series, five wins, total of nine podiums, 3 poles; affiliated driver at Sauber Motorsport for Formula One|
|2011||GP2 Asia and GP2 Main Series, 1 win, total 2 podiums test and reserve driver Sauber F1 Team|
|2012||3rd place GP2 Series, 3 wins, total 7 podiums; test and reserve driver Sauber F1 Team|
|2013||16th FIA Formula One World Championship, 6 points (Sauber F1 Team)|
F1 stats to date:
|Best race result||7. Japan (2013)|
|Best Qualifying||9. Korea (2013)|
|Fastest race laps||1|