Esteban Gutierrez will have lots to prove on track when he returns to Formula 1 this season, according to his new Haas F1 Team boss Gene Haas.
Gutierrez had a tough couple of seasons with the Sauber F1 Team in 2013 and 2014, securing only one points finish with a seventh place at the Japanese Grand Prix in his rookie campaign, before being dropped for 2015, but the Mexican landed the reserve driver role with the Scuderia Ferrari squad that Haas believes will bode well for him this season.
“He’s young, he wants to be a Formula 1 driver, and if he wants to stay in F1 then he’s going to have to prove he can get things done,” said Haas to Autosport. “Any driver that has been in Formula 1 for a number of years and hasn’t won a race, then he’s going to be in the hot seat.
“But as much as he didn’t do anything in ’15, he was in the Ferrari simulator all the time, and he became very familiar with how the engine and transmission package works.
“Because of the knowledge required – and I’ve learned this from [Romain] Grosjean, about when to recharge your batteries and when to apply the extra power needed on track – you have to know all that if you really want to expect to get the maximum out of the car.”
Gutierrez will have his first taste of the first Haas car on Tuesday, a day after Grosjean gives the car its shakedown on the opening day of the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya.