Esteban Gutierrez says after a year as Ferrari's test driver and a winter of building up to his Haas F1 debut he is ready to start the ground work on the US squad's new F1 challenge.
At the end of 2014 the Mexican driver lost his place at Sauber and moved to Ferrari as third and reserve driver behind Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen last season. Having been announced as part of new F1 team Haas' driver line-up alongside Romain Grosjean, the 24-year-old has been preparing for the a new career path as he aims to help the team produce a competitive package ahead of its F1 debut in Australia next month.
“I feel very excited after a complete season as a reserve driver,” Gutierrez said. “I am full of energy, full of ideas and very hungry to race. The development of our car from the beginning will be crucial in order to start the season confident that we have done our job as a team to prepare in the best way possible.
“I spent my off-season together with my family in my home town of Monterrey. I also used that time to relax, but at the same time, I continue my physical preparation, as it's really the best moment of the year to get a good rhythm before all the traveling starts for the season.”
Gutierrez will make his debut in the Haas F1 car on the second day of the opening pre-season test, as Grosjean receives the honour of driving on the opening day, and hopes to collect as much data and lap telemetry so the team can produce solid base settings.
“We expect to run the car as many laps as possible,” he explained. “This will be our priority, as we need to be sure to sort all the possible issues we may have in order to fix them on time.
“It will be very interesting to develop our car setup through the tests in preparation ahead of the first race. I am sure we will have plenty of work to do. The most important thing will be to always stay together as a team in order to be very efficient with our progress.”