Newly-crowned GP3 Series champion Esteban Gutierrez insists that he is not looking too far into his future, despite being linked to a possible role with the Sauber team next season.
The young Mexican, who was signed to a testing deal by BMW
before the German giant withdrew from the top flight, secured the inaugural GP3 title by taking pole position for race one at the season finale at Monza, and underlined his ability by winning a classic slip-streamer on Saturday afternoon. Although he spun early in Sunday morning's race, Gutierrez has marked himself out as a man to watch, and has already been linked to the second Sauber seat for 2011, alongside Kamui Kobayashi, thanks to reported links with the world's richest man, Carlos Slim Helu, but denies that he is looking that far ahead.
"To be honest, I don't think too much about the future, I just try to enjoy the present because I'm already doing what I like," the teenager explained, "I'm already doing my profession, and need to work and be physically present in the moment – this is the main thing. The future will come in time, and because of the action you take in the moment, so we just have to think about right now. Of course, it's important to have a plan, and this will come.
"Our main focus was not only to win races and the championship, but to be consistent and to finish every race and really to keep a high level of speed in a consistent way. We have been achieving this from the beginning, and this is why we are happy and satisfied with the season – not only did we accomplish the championship, but we
accomplished it in a very strong way."
The former FBMW frontrunner admitted that it had been a tough choice to decide between staying in the established F3 category and the fledgling GP3 Series for 2010, but clearly made the right decision in teaming up with the crack ART Grand Prix squad.
"It was a really hard decision to make between F3 and GP3, but we decided to go with GP3," he confirmed, "FBMW was positive and F3 was very very positive - I learned a lot and the experience was very valuable, so we came to GP3 with a very strong mind and team. I think it was the best decision we could have made this season.
"I want to have a good relationship with every mechanic - not only my
mechanic, but all the mechanics, to receive the energy and support that is around the people. I felt this in F3 last year and this is very important to me. It's not just the results on the table - I don't say this is the team champion so this is where I'm going to go - the most important thing is to feel good and enjoy the work. You want to have a good atmosphere.
"This is my work, my profession. I think to be the most professional we have to keep this mentality. I really want to thank [ART boss] Fred [Vasseur] for giving me the opportunity to race in his team. It has been a really good experience with some nice moments, and hopefully we can continue like this next year as well."
Should his F1 ambitions not come to fruition for 2011, it is likely that Gutierrez will remain within the ART set-up and graduate to the GP2 Series.