On Saturday, December 21, the Sauber Formula 1 team confirmed the final lineup of its 2014 driver roster. Mexico's Esteban Gutierrez will remain with the team to drive with previously announced Adrian Sutil. Russian Sergey Sirotkin will serve as test driver. The team made the announcement via its website.
In 2013, Mr. Gutierrez finished as the highest rookie of the season in 16th place in the FIA Formula 1 Driver World Championship with six points, according to F1.
About his confirmation, Gutierrez said, "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. 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."
Team Principal, Monisha Kaltenborn, noted, "We are pleased Esteban will drive for us in 2014, because we believe he is a talented young racing driver. Last season he experienced first hand how hard it can be for a rookie to step into Formula One. 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."
Though Mr. Sirotkin had been previously tipped for a possible race seat, according to F1, he will be the team's test driver.
Esteban Gutierrez first tested with Sauber at Jerez in late 2009. The following year he was signed as an "affiliated driver" and began his career in F1 officially with a race seat next to Nico Hulkenberg in 2013. Hulkenberg signed with Force India earlier this month.
Sauber finished seventh in the constructors' championship in 2013 with 57 points.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. She is currently working on a book about racers and racing with a historic racer from upstate New York.