Sauber Signs Esteban Gutierrez as 2011 Reserve

BMW Sauber-Ferrari has made the first step into securing their future – from a drivers standpoint – by signing the newly-crowned champion of the GP3 Series, 19-year-old Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, as its Formula One test and reserve driver for 2011.

Despite crashing out in the final event of the 2010 GP3 Series, at Monza, the ART Grand Prix driver still managed to emerge as first ever winner of the championship created in 2010 as a feeder series for GP2. His promotion to test and reserve driver for the upcoming campaign doesn't come as a shock, as he was already an affiliated driver with Peter Sauber's squad through the current season.

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,” said team boss Peter Sauber when making the announcement.

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,” added the Swiss team owner.

Gutierrez' second experience with an F1 car has already been scheduled for this off-season, in November. Shortly after the F1 season finale at Abu Dhabi, the Mexican teenager will get behind the wheel of the C29 for his maiden few laps on a 2010-spec F1 car. Last year, he used to drive a BMW Sauber F1.09 at the Young Driver Days in Jerez in December 2009.

That way I learnt a great deal about the professionalism and practical procedures in the Formula One team. 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,” said Gutierrez about his past and future with Peter Sauber's team.
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