Esteban Gutierrez, who is presently Ferrari’s test and reserve driver, will start a race driver role with American Haas F1 team for 2016.
At the end of 2014, the Mexican stepped out of his Sauber race seat and into the reserve role at Ferrari.
Gutierrez, 24, admitted he made the move with one eye on a future at Haas, the strongly Ferrari-linked new American team that makes its first appearance in 2016.
“Ferrari said ‘Here’s a driver you should consider and we would like to have him in your car’,” Haas told Autosport.
“Ferrari was interested in Esteban driving. Part of it is they would like to try him out so that they can evaluate him for a Ferrari drive down the road.
“I don’t know what Ferrari’s personal point of view is, but my point of view would be is they put talent in cars that they think have a potential to be their future drivers.”
Gutierrez admits chances of 2017 Ferrari F1 race seat
The Mexican has admitted he would like his new Haas seat for 2016 to boost his chances of racing for Ferrari in the future.
“Yes, from that side (not racing in 2015) it was difficult and I had to be very patient, knowing that it was for a very good reason, with a view to the future,” he told the Spanish sports daily Marca.
“It was a good experience, being part of the Ferrari family, a team with all that importance in F1, with a long history and a great responsibility as third driver,” Gutierrez added.
“It was a different year. I would have liked to race, but I knew it was only a year and so I tried to learn as much as I could.”
He described leaving Sauber for a test seat on the hope of launching into Haas for 2016 as a “big risk”, but he is now setting an eye on part two of the gamble — returning to Ferrari one day to be a race driver for the Maranello marque.
“That was the big gamble which I decided to do at the end of 2014 — leaving Sauber with nothing guaranteed,” said Gutierrez.
“I decided to go to Ferrari and put in a lot of effort and work and the first step has worked. But it is only that – a step – because my vision for the future is to reach the top.
“Yes, it’s what I want to achieve,” he admitted.