Former Formula 1 and current FIA Formula E racer Esteban Gutierrez will make his Verizon IndyCar Series debut this weekend as he replaces the injured Sebastien Bourdais for the doubleheader around the streets of Detroit.
The Mexican will step into the #18 Dale Coyne Racing machine as Bourdais recovers from the injuries he suffered in a high speed crash during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, and he is looking forward to his first taste of the Honda-powered Dallara.
“I’m very grateful to join Dale Coyne Racing, a highly competitive team,” said Gutierrez, who raced for Sauber and Haas in Formula 1. “When Dale Coyne called me, I had no doubt that this would be a great opportunity for me to get experience in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
“My target is to learn as quickly as possible. IndyCar is a very challenging series for drivers, but I feel ready to take this chance. I’m excited about my debut races at the Detroit Grand Prix and I cannot wait to start working with the team, engineers and Honda, as well as driving a Dallara car again.
“I have very good memories of my successful GP3 and GP2 Series seasons with the Dallara cars and I worked very well with them at Haas F1 Team. I will do my best for Dale Coyne Racing, Honda and all the Mexican fans.”
Team Principal Dale Coyne insists they will miss Bourdais’ presence in the car this weekend, especially as he triumphed around the Belle Isle circuit in 2016, but is happy to be able to call on someone like Gutierrez.
“We’re going to miss having Sebastien in the #18 car, but we’re very happy with our choice of a replacement for him this weekend,” said Coyne. “Esteban has a great open-wheel racing background, especially with his time in Formula One and the GP2 Series.
“I think he’ll do well in an Indy car despite the learning curve and we all look forward to seeing what he’ll do this weekend in Detroit.”