Former Sauber test, reserve and competing driver Esteban Gutierrez will once again join the ranks of Formula One come 2016 after Haas F1 Team confirmed that the Mexican racing driver will drive alongside Romain Grosjean.
Currently the third driver for Scuderia Ferrari, he will soon take his driving skills to their technical partner, Haas F1 Team as their official second driver.
“I got to know Esteban through our relationship with Ferrari, and after looking at the success he’s had to earn his role there, it became clear he was an excellent choice for our race team,” said Gene Haas, Founder and Chairman of Haas F1 Team.
The chairman also added that he is young, hungry, but not inexperienced as Gutierrez has made a name for himself back in both Formula BMW USA/Europe as well as a full driver for Sauber in 2013 and 2014.
“This is an excellent opportunity that builds on my time with Ferrari and I will make the most of it. Gene Haas believes in me and I believe in how he’s going about competing in Formula One. To have a race seat in a competitive car with Ferrari power is very special, and I appreciate the faith he has in me. I trust we’ll be able to achieve great things together,” said Gutierrez.
The 24 year-old Mexican racing driver will get behind the wheel with Haas F1 Team at the preseason test which will run from February 22-25 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. He will also be present during the second preseason test from March 1-4 at Barcelona. The 2016 season opener will kick off at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Gutierrez first arrived in the motorsport scene back in 2004 when he joined the final three rounds of the Mexican Rotax Max Challenge karting championship. He won the North Mexican Series in 2006 and finished fourth in the grand nationals.
It was in 2007 where he competed in the inaugural opening of the Formula BMW USA Series. Here, he was able to win nine pole positions and secured four out of eight total podium finishes. Overall, he was awarded Rookie of The Year honors and second place championship.
It was in the European series of Formula BMW where Gutierrez was able to further hone his skills after securing seven wins (six of which were consecutive victories). Ultimately he won the championship, which allowed him to test for Formula 1 under the Sauber F1 Team.
It was in 2011 where he first became a part of Sauber F1 Team as a test and reserve driver. This allowed him to move up to the GP2 series, gaining victories and experience along the way. And as previously mentioned, he became a fulltime racing driver alongside then teammate Nico Hulkenberg during the 2013 and 2014 Formula One seasons.