|First race||Australian Grand Prix||Albert Park||March 17, 2013||Race results|
|Last race||Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||Yas Marina||November 23, 2014||Race results|
Esteban Gutierrez has been fast-tracked through the junior ranks at a young age and has arrived in Formula One with solid credentials. Dubbed "The Chosen One" early in his career, he now has the opportunity to live up to his reputation with a race drive at Sauber.
His racing career started in Rotax Max karts in his native Mexico where he quickly asserted himself as one of the country's most promising talents. He moved on to Formula BMW USA at the age of 16 and a year later became the Formula BMW Europe champion.
In the intensely competitive Formula 3 Euroseries the following year he finished ninth overall, despite missing the first four rounds, and went on to test a BMW Sauber at the Young Driver Test at the end of the year. For 2010 he moved to GP3 and won the inaugural championship with five victories from 16 rounds. He was invited back for another day's testing at Sauber at the end of the year and was also announced as a reserve driver.
While working closely with Sauber at race weekends in 2011, he competed in the GP2 Series with Lotus-ART and took one victory at the sprint race in Valencia. However, when Sauber needed a stand-in for Sergio Perez at the Canadian Grand Prix, Gutierrez was in Mexico and the job was given to the more experienced Pedro de la Rosa. Nevertheless, he was back in the Sauber at that year's Young Driver Test and completed two days behind the wheel.
2012 yielded three wins in GP2 but a series of hot-headed moments prevented him from mounting a serious challenge on the title. He finished third in the standings by the end of the year and with his Telmex backing behind him he was considered the perfect fit for a Sauber race drive in 2013.
He made a slow start to his F1 career but there were signs of a more well-rounded driver emerging. His seventh place finish in Japan secured him his only points of the year, but with Telmex extending their deal with the Swiss team it was enough to keep Gutierrez at the team in 2014. An uninspiring season followed as Sauber failed to score a point, with a big error at Monte Carlo costing him a top ten finish. He was dropped for 2015 but handed a reprieve by Ferrari when announced as the team's new reserve driver, bringing Mexican sponsorship with him in the process.
Strengths and Weaknesses
He's undoubtedly quick but the big question surrounding Gutierrez is whether he can consistently perform. In GP2 in 2012 he finished third in the title chase but rash on-track decisions from time to time arguably prevented him from mounting a bid for the title
Winning the GP3 Series in dominant fashion only helped to cement his nickname as the "Chosen One".
Being overlooked as Sergio Perez's replacement for the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix despite being Sauber's reserve driver at the time
"I'm totally aware how tough competition in F1 is. In GP2 I wasn't as consistent as I would have wished but I rate 2012 as the most rewarding season of my career, because you learn from these experiences."
"It's been a family project [to get to F1] requiring a lot of effort from all my brothers, my sister, and especially my parents. My father was the one who made the initial investments in my career, and without him I wouldn't be here."
Gutierrez refused to cut his hair during the 2012 GP2 season because he believed it would bring bad luck.
Hamilton secures second title with Abu Dhabi victory (November 23, 2014)
Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole at title showdown (November 22, 2014)
Advantage Rosberg ahead of qualifying (November 22, 2014)
Hamilton quickest again in FP2 (November 21, 2014)
- Hamilton beats Rosberg to fastest time in first practice (November 21, 2014)
February 25, 2015
© Manor MS
February 25, 2015
© Force India
February 24, 2015
© Sutton Images