Formula 1 News

Gutierrez to join Sauber, Pic at Caterham

The Mexican official announcement was somewhat expected, different from Charles Pic, who currently is a Marussia driver.
Friday, November 23, 2012

SAO PAULO, Nov 23, 2012 (AFP) - Mexican Esteban Gutierrez will be promoted to Sauber's second race driver next season as Marussia's Charles Pic of France switches to Caterham, both stables announced on Friday.

Gutierrez, 21, moves up from the reserve team and will replace Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi beside Germany's Nico Hulkenberg, recruited from Force India to replace another Mexican, Sergio Perez, who joins McLaren in 2013.

Gutierrez, who signed for the Swiss team as a reserve driver in 2010, has never raced in F1 and finished third in the GP2 championship last season, with three wins.

"We are in no doubt we have a strong driver pairing in place for the 2013 season with Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez," Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said.

Gutierrez added: "It will be a great pleasure to be racing in the same team as an experienced driver like Nico Hulkenberg.

"He will be a good reference point for me and will push me to adapt quickly to F1 competition so we can develop the car together with the team in the best way."

Dutch driver Robin Frijns, 21, has been taken on board as Sauber's test and reserve driver.

Pic, meanwhile, will move to Caterham after signing a long-term deal with the British outfit.

The 22-year-old has impressed this year in contast with his more experienced partner Timo Glock of Germany.

"It is clear that the team has great ambitions for the future," said Pic, whose best results in his first season with Marussia were a 15th place at the Australian Grand Prix, the first of his F1 career, and at the European GP in Valencia.

Both of Caterham's current drivers Finn Heikki Kovalainen and Russian Vitaly Petrov face uncertain futures. Kovalainen admitted on Thursday that he feared he would be out of F1 next season.

Charles Pic will be a member of Caterham in 2013.

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