Esteban Gutierrez will continue with the Sauber F1 Team for the 2014 F1 season, it has been announced.
The Mexican, who first tested for the team at Jerez in late 2009, made his debut at the pinnacle of the sport this year and after a shaky start that saw his future called into question, he 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.
He will be joined at Sauber by former Force India pilot Adrian Sutil, who was confirmed a week or so ago by the Swiss-based outfit. The length of the deal with Gutierrez was not disclosed.
“I am happy to be able to continue as a driver for the Sauber F1 Team. It was a steep learning curve last season, but by working closely with the team I was able to improve continuously. It will be my fourth year with the team, the second as a racing driver, and I feel comfortable in taking the next step,” he said.
“The technical challenges in 2014 will be massive. Therefore it will be even more important to know well the people you are working with. I will do my very best to improve even more and support the team the best way I can.”
Sauber team principal, Monisha Kaltenborn meanwhile is hopeful that Gutierrez will be able to build on his first year in the top flight.
“We are pleased Esteban will drive for us in 2014, because we believe he is a talented young racing driver,” she added. “Last season he experienced first hand how hard it can be for a rookie to step into F1.
“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. Often the results didn't fully reflect his performances.
"I am confident Esteban will be able to use his experiences to gain results, and this will be helped by the fact he is very well acquainted with every member of the race team.”