Sauber's Tom McCullough has backed Esteban Gutierrez to have a long future in F1 as the rookie continues to improve.
After a difficult start to the Championship for Sauber, the team's C32 has proven to be one of the best midfield cars in the latter stages of this season.
As a result of the team's improvement, Gutierrez has as well and finally netted his first World Championship points at the last race in Japan.
The 22-year-old brought his car home in seventh place, earning six World Championship points. In doing so he became the only rookie to have scored points this season.
"His speed has never been in doubt, even when he tested for us in the past the speed was evident," McCullough, Sauber's head of trackside engineering, told Autosport.
"He is a really bright lad and works hard, so he has potentially a very good career ahead of him.
"It is hard for rookies, especially when you are fighting in such a tight part of the grid.
"He did not have a lot of winter testing mileage because the bad weather kept seeming to fall on Esteban's car, so he came into the first race with not a lot of dry running under his belt.
"But every day he has learned, applied himself and looked to improve in every area, which is exactly what he is doing."
But whether his improvements have been enough to secure him a 2014 race-seat with the team remains to be seen.
"we have a couple of options and we will carefully look at them," said team principal Monisha Kaltenborn.
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