Haas F1 Team driver Esteban Gutierrez is looking forward to racing in front of a home crowd for the first time this weekend, and experiencing the huge support that the throngs of Mexican fans display without fail, such is their passion for F1.
“It’s a very special week for my whole career. It’s probably one of the best two weeks of my career because it represents so much to racing, to motorsports in Mexico in general, and to me.
“It’s a kind of connection where I can share my passion for racing and what I do with all Mexicans. I feel grateful for their support.”
In 2015, Gutierrez was reserve driver at Scuderia Ferrari and therefore did not take part in the race that returned to Mexico City after a twenty-three year hiatus, but the Mexican still enjoyed the atmosphere and everything the event stood for.
“Last year was great. I could live the event from a different perspective, but now it will be even better when I will be racing there. I’m very excited to enjoy that.”
“The atmosphere was amazing. I enjoyed it so much. Obviously, I would have liked to have been racing, but that was my position and the reality is that I wanted to enjoy in that perspective.
“It was a very special weekend and I felt very proud to see all the fans having a huge interaction. It turned out to be one of the best events of the season.”
To be able to drive around the iconic Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez will be a huge honour for Gutierrez, who holds Mexican F1 history very dear to his heart.
“I will have a lot of pride. As a Mexican in Mexico, you can imagine how special that is.”
Though he will be concentrating on the race as he rolls round to the grid on race day, Gutierrez has said he will also take time to wave and cheer with the fans whose support he knows will be second to none.
“Of course I will cheer to the people. They are there supporting us and they make the difference to make a fantastic event happen. It’s their support and their interaction which provides the best environment for an amazing event.”
The track itself will be somewhat of an unknown to the home hero, having missed out on competing at the circuit last year, but Gutierrez is confident the characteristics of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez will complement the VF16, but admits making the most of each practice session will be extremely crucial.
“It will be important to do the best we can with our car. It’s a track we believe can suit the style of our car, and we’re hoping that will be the case.
“It’s going to be important to have as much track time as possible to adapt to the circuit.”
Outside of the racetrack itself, Gutierrez is a big fan of the Mexico City Restaurants, with two areas in particular being amongst his favourite haunts.
“I love the restaurants in Plaza Carso and Polanco.”
Who knows, if you chance a visit, you may just see the Mexican there!