Esteban Gutierrez was today announced as Ferrari reserve driver.
In contrast to Sebastian Vettel’s much-anticipated arrival at the team, Gutierrez’s appointment was widely unexpected. The Mexican joined Sauber in 2013 and competed with the team for two years, but was dropped by the team after a dismal season which saw Sauber’s first ever season without scoring a point.
“We are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to Esteban who, although young, has plenty of experience relating to the new generation of Formula 1 cars,” said Ferrari’s Director General and Team Principal, Maurizio Arrivabene. “I am sure that, with his experience, he will make an important contribution to the development work of the team in the simulator.”
In a Ferrari press release, Gutierrez is quoted as saying: “It is for me the beginning of a new path for my future and I’m going to do my utmost to contribute to the achievement of the targets set by the Scuderia. It is an honour to become part of the Scuderia Ferrari family, a Team with such an exceptional history.”
Gutierrez is the first Mexican driver to race for Ferrari since Pedro Rodriguez in 1969. He will join former Sauber driver Pedro de la Rosa, Ferrari driver Marc Gené and GP2 and WEC driver Davide Rigon in the Ferrari reserve team. Meanwhile, Sauber have signed former Williams reserve driver Felipe Nasr and Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson as their 2015 line-up, dropping Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil.
Image courtesy of Scuderia Ferrari.