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Gutierrez to partner Sutil at Sauber

Saturday 21-December-2013 05:23

Sauber will have a driver pairing of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez next season after the latter was finally confirmed.

Gutierrez made his Formula One debut this season and finished as the top rookie with six points, but there was initially some doubts over his future and Sergey Sirotkin was expected to be promoted.

However, the Hinwil squad has revealed that the 22-year-old will team up with Sutil in 2014 with Russian Sirotkin taking over the reserve driver role.

"I am happy to be able to continue as a driver for the Sauber F1 team," the Mexican said.

"It was a steep learning curve last season, but by working closely with the team I was able to improve continuously.

"It will be my fourth year with the team, the second as a racing driver, and I feel comfortable in taking the next step.

"The technical challenges in 2014 will be massive. Therefore, it will be even more important to know well the people you are working with.

"I will do my very best to improve even more and support the team the best way I can."

Gutierrez scored in only race last season, coming from 14th on the grid in Japan to finish sixth while he made it into Q3 a couple of times.

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn believes he proved that he can deliver.

"Last season he experienced first-hand how hard it can be for a rookie to step into Formula 1," said Kaltenborn.

"Nevertheless, throughout the season he improved significantly in qualifying as well as in the races and finished the season as the best rookie in the Drivers' Championship.

"Often the results didn't fully reflect his performances. I am confident Esteban will be able to use his experiences to gain results and this will be helped by the fact he is very well acquainted with every member of the race team."

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