Maranello, 16 January – At only 23 years of age, there’s plenty of time to get back in the game. Two F1 seasons as a Sauber race driver did not live up to expectations for Esteban Gutierrez, with just 6 world championship points and one fastest race lap to his name. The team struggled in recent seasons and this impacted on the start of his career, but today, the Mexican from Monterrey has got an opportunity to start over as the third and reserve driver with Ferrari.
Esteban’s career as a “ferrarista” has already begun, as he has met the personnel and had the necessary seat fittings. On the engine side, he already knows what to expect, because the Saubers he raced were Ferrari-powered. “Now, the important thing for me is to adapt and to settle in to this new environment as quickly as possible, he explains. “I need to get to know the people I will be working with and I hope that my experience with the Ferrari engine will mean I can contribute to the development of the new power unit.”
For Esteban, joining Ferrari is above all, “an honour, because this is a place where history is made.” But he is not the first Mexican to race a Ferrari in F1. In fact, Pedro Rodriguez raced in ’64, ’65 and ’69 in NART colours and those of the Scuderia in Formula 1 cars from Maranello. His brother Ricardo preceded him in ’61 and ’62, prior to his tragic death at the wheel of a Lotus on his home track.