Despite only being 22 years old, Esteban Gutiérrez is pretty familiar with the Sauber F1 Team, the Yas Marina Circuit and, most importantly, to a certain extent the Sauber C31-Ferrari.
He had his first Formula One test back in 2009 in Jerez with Sauber and since then has taken part in the 2010 and 2011 Young Driver Days. In his role as test and reserve driver he recently stepped in for Sergio Pérez during the first free practice session at this year’s Indian Grand Prix.
“The morning session was very interesting for me because we tested a lot of different things, and I hope I gave my most precise feedback to the engineers.” Gutiérrez said following the second day testing.
“After being in the car so recently in India, of course, I feel a lot more confident in handling all the system like KERS and DRS. In the morning session I used only hard tyres, but in the afternoon I certainly enjoyed running the medium as well as the soft compound. The last sector of the track I find a bit tricky, especially turn 20. I don’t have the confidence yet to push harder there.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara (Head of Track Engineering): “Obviously we know Esteban a lot better than we knew Robin before yesterday, and he is also quite familiar with the team and the track. This helps for some procedures and communication but, nevertheless, he isn’t in the car every day. Again he did a good and reliable job for us.”
“We basically ticked off everything from today’s job list. In the morning and early afternoon the focus was on aero work with a set up change over the lunch break. Later in the afternoon we repeated the programme we did yesterday with Robin, giving Esteban a set of medium compound tyres as well as a set of softs. In the end he did a high fuel run on medium tyres. For tomorrow we have some brake testing and suspension work on the list.” Dall’Ara added.