PARIS, Dec 21, 2013 (AFP/F1plus) - Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez will remain with the Sauber Formula One team for the 2014 season as teammate to German Adrian Sutil, it was announced on Saturday.
Gutierrez was the best rookie driver in the 2013 championship, finishing 16th on the 22-man grid, with the highlight of his season a seventh-placed finish at the Japanese Grand Prix.
"It was a steep learning curve last season, but by working closely with the team I was able to improve continuously," Gutierrez said in a statement released by Sauber.
"It will be my fourth year with the team, the second as a racing driver, and I feel comfortable in taking the next step."
Sauber Principal Monisha Kaltenborn, said the team "believes he is a talented young racing driver. Last season he experienced first hand how hard it can be for a rookie to step into Formula One.
"Nevertheless, throughout the season he improved significantly in qualifying as well as in the races and finished the year as the best rookie in the drivers’ championship.
Gutierrez will be one of two Mexican drivers on the grid in 2014 alongside former Sauber driver Sergio Perez, who will drive for Force India.
A Mexican Grand Prix had been included on the provisional calendar for 2014 but was recently dropped.
This was not the only announcement made yesterday by the team. Russian youngster, Sergey Sirotkin, was named third driver. A move that goes more with the lines of development and evolution that will certainly avoid rushing such an inexperienced driver to the number one motoracing category in the world.
“It’s a big chance for me to become the test driver for the Sauber F1 Team.
"I will work hard to improve myself and to extract the maximum out of this opportunity. Formula One is very complex, so it is important to get an opportunity like this." Sirotkin said.
Then to finish the wave of news coming from the team, Telmex was confirmed again as sponsor. The company's open connection with Gutierrez is not a secret, and both annoucements coming at the same time pretty much asserts that notion.