Esteban Gutierrez has sent Nico Hulkenberg a message of support after being pipped by the German to Sergio Perez’s race seat at the British Grand Prix.
Perez’s positive test for COVID-19 had his Racing Point team scrambling around for a last-minute stand-in.
With Stoffel Vandoorne ruled out by a Formula E commitment, it looked to have come down to a straight fight between former Sauber team-mates Hulkenberg and Gutierrez.
In the end, Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer opted for the more recent experience of the German, with Hulkenberg having raced through to the end of last season with Renault whereas Gutierrez has not been on the F1 grid since 2016.
But despite the snub, 28-year-old Gutierrez has sent his best wishes to all concerned, including both drivers with Perez, his fellow Mexican, hoping to be back in action at the Spanish Grand Prix on August 16 if he still has to self-isolate for next weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.
In a series of tweets, translated from Spanish, Gutierrez said: “First, I want to wish you a soon recovery to my compatriot and friend @SChecoPerez, as well as to all those who are in a similar circumstance.
“I would have liked to go up to run this weekend. I am always prepared, focused and at the disposal of my team to compete.
“I so appreciate all the support messages I have received. Today I was on the track with @ MercedesAMGF1 following the practices and how I am always committed in responsibilities with my team.
“I wish @HulkHulkenberg and @RacingPointF1 a very successful weekend! Enjoy the Grand Prix from home very much!”
The reference to Mercedes reflected that Gutierrez is now a simulator and development driver for the World Champions, as well as being reserve driver for the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E team.
He spent three seasons as a Formula 1 competitor, 2013 and 2014 with Sauber and 2016 for Haas. His only points finish was P7 for Sauber at the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix, the year in which he and Hulkenberg were team-mates.