Esteban Gutierrez makes switch to Formula E


Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Italy. Thursday 01 September 2016. World Copyright: Andy Hone/LAT Photographic ref: Digital Image _ONY2008. Credit: Haas F1 Team

Unable to secure himself a F1 seat in 2017, Esteban Gutierrez will compete in the FIA Formula E Championship, with his debut likely to come at the Mexican ePrix later this year.

The news was announced yesterday at a press conference attended by the Mexican driver, Formula E Boss Alejandro Agag and the Mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Angel Mancera Espinosa and Gutierrez sees the move as a fantastic opportunity.

“Well I’m very happy to be here and to finally make the announcement of my future plans. I feel very grateful to Alejandro and Alberto, which we’ve both known each other for a very long time and now we can work together in this new path.”

“I’ve been always watching and following Formula E, because of my relationship with Alejandro. I have always been following his projects and Formula E being one of them.

“I have been very impressed at how the category has grown, electric cars are the future of mobility in the cities, so it is a very interesting way of how the innovation is being pushed through the category. I’m delighted to now be a part of it.”

Full details of the switch are yet to be confirmed, so it is not known which team the 25-year-old will drive for in the remaining few races of this season, but rumours point to the Faraday Future Dragon Racing Team, where Gutierrez is likely to replace current driver Loic Duval.

“I’ll do the Mexico race, and probably others in preparation for the 2018 season.

“It’s an exciting future for my career. I feel very proud of being a part of this new tendency of electric cars.”

If all goes well the 25-year-old will hope to secure full entry to the all-electric racing championship for the 2017/18 season.

Gutierrez lost his seat with the Haas F1 Team to Kevin Magnusson in November, and despite talks with the likes of the Sauber F1 Team, whom he has driven for previously, he was unable to secure a place on the F1 grid in 2017, with any of the remaining teams.

The Mexican’s career started out brightly, winning the inaugural GP3 Series first time out back in 2010, with five victories and sixteen podiums, which sparked Sauber’s interest, and the squad made him their reserve driver in 2011.

Two years in GP2, saw Gutierrez finish third in the championship in 2012 where he showed moments of promise, but also a tendency to make errors. Nevertheless, he did enough to be promoted to a full-time race seat with Sauber in 2013.

But despite looking like he was perhaps growing as a driver by the end of that year, since then his promise as a F1 driver has waned, and a season without points for Haas in 2016, put the nail in the coffin on his career in F1.

Losing his seat at Haas left the Mexican with little time to pursue other avenues ahead of the new season, but now Formula E has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for the 25-year-old.

The next Formula E race takes place in Argentina next month, but it is unlikely Gutierrez will be ready to join the championship by that date. He does however hope to be competing at his home ePrix in Mexico, which is set to take place in April.

The Mexican will join a long list of former F1 drivers to compete in the Series which is already crammed with talent, and the signing is a major scoop for Formula E, who are now seen very much as a viable option for a career in motorsport.