Esteban Gutierrez: “I feel very grateful with how everything went”

Esteban Gutierrez finished nineteenth in his first IndyCar race on Saturday - Credit: Bret Kelley / IndyCar

Esteban Gutierrez did what he wanted to do during race one at Belle Isle, with the Mexican getting some much needed track and seat time on Saturday.

Gutierrez is replacing the injured Sebastien Bourdais at Dale Coyne Racing for the first time this weekend, but came to the event without knowledge of either the car or track, which meant he went through a huge learning curve during practice, qualifying and the race.

The second race of the weekend takes place on Sunday, and Gutierrez is hopeful of taking what he learned from race one into it to improve on his nineteenth place finish on Saturday.

“I’m very pleased and very grateful with the support I got from the team,” said Gutierrez. “It’s been very important for me to get into a rhythm.

“Obviously, it was a very big challenge to throw ourselves into a weekend at Detroit. A very difficult track and not knowing the car. This race was basically to get the rhythm, to find the speed and to complete the 70 laps and that goal today was achieved.

“We’re going to look for more for tomorrow’s race but we’re taking it step by step. It was a good day and a positive one because I could find more speed, more pace, I was more comfortable and more consistent. I feel very grateful with how everything went today.”