Sauber announce GP3 champion as new test driver


Esteban Gutièrrez, the 2010 GP3 champion, has been appointed 2011 test and reserve driver for F1 team Sauber.

Gutièrrez, 19, has already worked with the team this season as an affiliated driver, and also tested the BMW Sauber 2009 car during the young driver test in Jerez last December. He will be in the cockpit of the current C29 for the test drives that follow the 2010 season finale in Abu Dhabi.

The Mexican driver took a comfortable victory in the inaugural GP3 series. Racing for ART, he notched up three pole positions, was on the podium nine times, and won five of the 16 races.

“Esteban is extremely mature for his age, and it has been a great pleasure to have him with us a great deal of the time this year as an affiliated driver,” said team owner Peter Sauber. “The team was rooting for him during his intelligent fighting performances in the GP3 Series. We are confident he will continue to develop strongly. With his modest manner and keen desire to learn, he has also made himself very popular among the team.”

In his position as an affiliated Sauber driver, Gutièrrez has had open access to the team pit garage, pit radio, and technical briefings this season. The Mexican driver says that this has been good preparation: “That way I learnt a great deal about the professionalism and practical procedures in the Formula One team,” he said. “Plus, in early September I had an opportunity to attend the team's fitness camp with the two team drivers. Formula One is my ambition, and I'm really grateful to Peter Sauber for his confidence in me and my ability.”