Formula BMW Europe Champion Esteban Gutierrez will graduate to the Formula 3 Euroseries with multiple champions ART Grand Prix in 2009, it has been confirmed.
The 17-year-old was the dominant winner of his year's inaugural F1 support series, winning seven of the 16 races for Josef Kaufmann Racing.
Attracting the attention of several teams towards the end of 2008, Guttierez was given a test with ART at Magny-Cours, where he impressed the French concern with his immediate pace.
As such, ART, who have won the F3 Euroseries title for the last five seasons, have quickly snapped up the youngster to join Jules Bianchi in forming part of their four-man driver line-up this season.
“I feel very happy to be part of a very competitive series,” the Mexican said. “I think that this way I will learn a lot of new things that will serve as an experience to get better as a driver. I feel very happy to have come to an agreement with ART, to compete in this series.
“I feel grateful to my family, and the people working with me, because I know we will work all together looking for the victory, always being proud to be a Mexican. With God's help I will put all my effort and dedication to obtain the best possible results with a lot of enthusiasm.”
Following in the footsteps of several drivers who have graduated to F3 from FBMW, ART team manager Frederic Vasseur was certain Guttierez will be a capable of race wins by the end of the season.
“I am pleased to confirm Esteban, who had a very strong and succesfull season in Formula BMW last year, as ART F3 driver; he did a very good job during our winter test session at Magny-Cours and the collaboration with our engineers was perfect; we will have a very strong line up for 2009 and our target will be to catch a sixth title in a row.
“Regarding Esteban, the gap between formula BMW and F3 is important but I am sure that Esteban will be a hard worker, he will improve during the season, and will be able to score some wins.”