Despite rumours to the contrary for much of the second half of 2013, Esteban Gutierrez now looks set for a second year at Sauber.

That is the claim of Germany's SportBild, which believes that the Mexican could be announced as Adrian Sutil's team-mate as early as tomorrow [Friday].

Although he followed countryman Sergio Perez into the Sauber line-up, having been reserve for a year, courtesy of Mexican backing, Gutierrez looked set to miss out on a second season at Hinwil thanks to a Russian rescue bid to bail the team out of financial troubles. That deal initially came with the caveat that World Series by Renault midfield runner Sergey Sirotkin had to be given one of the two seats for 2014, but it now appears unlikely that the teenager will qualify for the necessary superlicence and be able to build up sufficient experience to warrant a ride next season, at least.

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Gutierrez, after a shaky start that saw his future called into question, improved along with the C32 as the year went on, eventually capping a strong run of qualifying results with his only points of the season in Japan, although a few other top ten finishes went begging through no fault of the driver.

With doors apparently closing at Sauber, Gutierrez had been rumoured to be in talks with Caterham, but re-signing with the Swiss outfit ties off another vacancy and throws the spotlight back on the two back-of-the-grid squads. While Marussia already has Jules Bianchi signed for 2014 and insists that it is close to re-upping with Max Chilton, Caterham has not finalised either of its drivers, with 2013 pilots Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic in the running alongside development driver Heikki Kovalainen and Swedish GP2 star Marcus Ericsson, who was a guest of the team's at Interlagos and apparently has the backing to secure one of the seats on offer.

Sutil, meanwhile, effectively completed a seat swap with fellow German Nico Hulkenberg, who partners former Sauber star Perez at Force India in 2014.