Esteban Gutiérrez

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
He’s the first rookie to be confirmed on the 2013 grid and the announcement has raised more than a little debate so its about time he had his own thread. Due to the fact he’s replacing a very popular driver who has had a fair rate of success, and the Mexican sponsorship the Sauber team has, his appointment hasn’t exactly been met with a wave of excitement and the words ‘pay driver’ can be heard being mumbled in dark corners of internet forums. I will have to say being a massive Kobi fan I was one of those mumblers but then I took a closer look at the stats.

Esteban Manuel Gutiérrez Gutiérrez (so good they named him twice) was born 5th August in Mpnterrey, Nuevo Leon Mexico. At 16 Esteban graduated from Karting to single seater racing by taking part in the Formula BMW USA series. He finished second in the series and at the tender age of 17 he packed his bags and was off to Europe for the Formula BMW Europe series which he promptly won at the first attempt. The following season he moved up to the Formula 3 Euroseries and by his standards had a rather average season and placed 9th in the championship. 2010 saw the beginning of the GP3 series which was dominated by Gutierrez from start to finish with 5 wins and 9 podiums. His GP3 title saw him earn a step up to GP2 as well as the Sauber test driver spot.

His first season in GP2 was hardly a run away success with him only scoring 15 points but it did see him take 2 podiums, a pole and a win so he did show some potential as well as getting some track time with Sauber in F1. His 2012 GP2 campaign started slowly but he was scoring points. It wasn’t until Valencia that he scored a victory and despite 2 more following in Britain and Hungary he was never really in the championship race. He did secure a clear third though which was obviously enough for Telmex and Sauber as he will be on the grid for 2013.

But the majority of people aren’t welcoming him with open arms because they see him as coming in and replacing a popular driver because of sponsorship reasons. Whilst there is an element of this it is an actual shame as Gutierrez has one of the best junior records of any rookie coming into F1 in recent years, he certainly has a better junior record than Sergio Perez, and whilst it might have been another year down the line there is no question that he would have/does deserve his place on the F1 grid and whilst his nationality probably plays a part in his appointment there are some other reasons you can see too. Throughout his junior career Gutierrez has had one thing that neither of the Sauber drivers have had this season, consistency. In his GP3 championship years he had 10 points finishes out of 16 – last year in GP2 he had 19 points finishes out of 24. It could be argued that if the 2 Sauber drivers had that kind of consistency then the team would have been able to secure 5th in the constructors championship. So if Esteban can convert his junior form into F1 then surely Sauber are laughing.

However I do worry for the lad as I can’t help but feel he’s on a loser unless he hits the ground running amazingly fast. With a team-mate with as much skill as Hulkenberg he’s going to have a difficult job of keeping up, add to that the fact he’s replacing Kobi and I can see the media and the fans turning on him very quickly if results don’t go well and it could dent his confidence.


I guess we’ll have to see which direction he goes in when he gets thrown into the F1 shark pool next year. What does anyone else think? Sink or swim for Gutierrez?
 

HammydiRestarules

Di Resta fan :).
Contributor
RasputinLives

Brilliant thread mate :).

I think it's unfair that must see him as a paid driver due to his Mexican sponsorship money. For me if he gets given the chance he'll show just how much of a talented racer he actually is :). I've followed Esteban for about 3 years now after receiving a tip off from a mate at just how good this guy is. I must say first impressions are key for me and I certainly liked what I saw of him. He's also a decent overtaker, however he does go missing in races from time to time, that is my only real worry about him :).
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
Was matched by his rookie team-mate in this years GP2 season, and really should have been in the championship fight, as neither of the top 2 were sterling themselves.

Seemed to make several mistakes in the latter half of the season too, eliminating himself out of the championship.

Another season of GP2 would probably have seasoned him to be a fine driver, even he himself has came out saying "I don't know if I'm ready for F1".

But I guess we shall see next season.
 

HammydiRestarules

Di Resta fan :).
Contributor
I do think that myself Slyboogy.

However, you feel this was a forced move for him by his team and sponsors to some extent. It was a case of sign up or we'll get rid from what I've heard.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
Was matched by his rookie team-mate in this years GP2 season
To be fair Sly he finished 16 points in front of Caledo and Caledo comes highly rated as well as being 2 years older than Esteban with two more years in single seater racing so I wouldn't do him down for that.

I agree with you on the fact he could have done with another season in GP2 to round out the edges and would hate to see him become another youngster who is thrown into F1 too early - I guess you have to take the chances when they come though.

I do worry about how he's going to stand up against Hulkenberg who we've all seen show his real potential as this season ends. You can have a great season but if you're team-mate has an amazing one no one notices!
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
the top 2 in GP2 this season are not on the F1 grid for 2013 unless they will get the last few drives going

Perez has raised the bar and Sauber are a better team to afford pay drivers ...Kobayashi has not done anything really wrong to finish only 8pts behind Perez but has been ruthlessly dispatched

I do think Hulkenberg is ready to step up now and this time I think he's got the ruthless killer instinct that will make him a future star clearly he knows something that we donlt about his career

I expect Gutierez will find it very tough
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
Thought I'd chip in again on this one on something I alluded too originally. If you look back at Guti's(can we call him Guti? his whole name is a burden to my spelling defect) junior career then he's always been exceptionally consistant and thats how he's won his various formulas.

If you consider that the one thing Sauber have lacked in their drivers this year is consistancy do you think that was a factor in their decision or was it all about the money money money?
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Thought I'd chip in again on this one on something I alluded too originally. If you look back at Guti's(can we call him Guti? his whole name is a burden to my spelling defect) junior career then he's always been exceptionally consistant and thats how he's won his various formulas.

If you consider that the one thing Sauber have lacked in their drivers this year is consistancy do you think that was a factor in their decision or was it all about the money money money?
It has been well regarded that Sauber have an excellent wind tunnel in Hinwil (?) but somehow they have never delivered on the track despite their impressive record in Sportcar with Mercedes. It has not happened in F1 for them ..the tyres being controlled has equalised the field for them a bit but there is the still the issue of finance

The team has struggled for money and it is no secret that their two drivers this year had money to bring in

I'd be interested to know how Hulkenberg is being paid as he definitely has not got sponsor money like Sergio or Kamui had


There have been noises this year that Sauber could have scored more points with the car they had
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
The team has struggled for money and it is no secret that their two drivers this year had money to bring in

I'd be interested to know how Hulkenberg is being paid as he definitely has not got sponsor money like Sergio or Kamui had
Kamui Kobayashi was getting paid to driver, probably not much mind you, and was probably covered by Sergio's sponsorship.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
So no comments on Esteban since his F1 career started. He's managed two race distances without much excitment but the lack of incident has to be a plus.

The only bit of praise I can give him is that he's not as far behind Hulk as I thought he would be.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
Hmmm do I counf it against him in the rookie quali championship or not? What do you do with the QWC tby?
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
I shall follow your lead then Mr TBY.

For those interested Esteban was level pegging with Bottas in the rookie championship at the start of the weekend but finishing behind him in quali and a DNF has lost him massive ground and put him within striking distance of the real rookie star Jules Bianchi.

Old Guti needs to get his act together.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
Ok so today Gutierrez finished behind Pic today. We know the Sauber is better than that. How many more of these performances can he put in before Sauber have to think about putting someone else in the car?
 
Ok so today Gutierrez finished behind Pic today. We know the Sauber is better than that. How many more of these performances can he put in before Sauber have to think about putting someone else in the car?
Im not sure...all that Telmex money must be pretty valuable. But tbh,he's been the most disappointing of the rookies thus far-Bianchi's been amazing,Bottas good(though hampered by poor equipment) and nobody expects anything of Chilton anyway. But for a GP3 champion and a multiple race winner in GP2 to perform in this way is shocking.
 
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