Gutierrez hails F1 breakthrough

Friday 14-June-2013 10:09

Despite not yet scoring a point, Esteban Gutierrez believes he is improving as a driver after "inhaling" F1 in Spain.

Highlighting the Barcelona grand prix as his breakthrough event, the Sauber rookie reckons he's finally found his feet in motor racing premier class.

"So far my rookie season has been very complex with very different kinds of results and experiences," he told the official F1 website.

"I am focusing to make every experience another step of improvement, step by step.

"In that respect Barcelona was a very positive step, not only result-wise but also because of my feeling throughout the whole weekend.

"The things that I want to achieve as a driver - adapting to Formula One - were for the first time fully achieved at that Barcelona weekend. Now I want to carry that experience into the next races.

"It was not necessarily the 11th place I scored in Spain that mattered - as it is a place that brings you no points at all - but it was the feeling that I have fully arrived at a Formula One weekend.

"I was able to make the most out of the potential of the car and was finding the right consistency throughout the weekend - and that is not so easy for a newbie!

"To be consistent and make no mistakes and at the same time be competitive - that was something that I felt was a significant personal achievement. So, it wasn't a race win, but the impression of having fully 'inhaled' Formula One. That was a very special feeling."

The 21-year-old, though, admits Sauber are struggling as their C32 has failed to produce the results they had expected.

But despite the team's woes, the Mexican driver says his motivation has not changed.

"Obviously the car has not been as quick we would have hoped so I think my feedback is important - and my ability to be consistent is an important subtopic in that development.

"My motivation, of course, has never dropped. It is one thing not having the most competitive car, but another important thing is to be able to find the right window for the car and work flawlessly within that window.

"If you know that your car is capable of finishing in tenth, 11th or 15th position, then being able to deliver that result - and hopefully at times doing better by taking advantage of the mistakes of others - is what brings the real achievement and what is important to move on to higher levels.

"Of course, you always want to do better. I always wish I hadn't started the season as I did, but on the other hand it is probably a reality that you cannot expect more in your rookie season.

"So you have to learn to accept your reality and have to find the balance for yourself between all the different things."

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