Esteban Gutièrrez, the Sauber team’s reserve driver next year, today completed 88 laps in the C29 in the heat of the Yas Marina Circuit during the first of two official Young Driver Days in Abu Dhabi.
The 19-year-old Mexican from Monterrey had his very first Formula One experience behind the wheel of the BMW Sauber F1.09 almost a year ago when he drove for one day in Jerez. In 2010 Esteban took a comfortable victory in the GP3 Championship racing for ART, which will also be his team in the 2011 GP2 Championship.
Esteban Gutièrrez: “I enjoyed the day a lot and it is a shame it is over! It was a very intense way to work because we tried many different things. The changes were quite drastic and this helped me to feel the difference. Of course I had to adapt to the car after I hadn’t driven an F1 car for almost a year, but this was no problem. My mental approach to driving is always to be consistent in my progress. I hope this worked out and I was able to do something for the team today.”
James Key, Technical Director: “Esteban did a solid and tidy job today. We had a steady and useful morning with Esteban learning the track and getting familiar with the car. He took it quite pragmatically by doing a step at a time, and going a little bit quicker each time he went out. After he got used to everything in the morning, he was ready for a more intense programme in the afternoon. We ran several test items, which meant a busy afternoon programme, and received some very useful feedback and positive directions. We constantly went for runs of five timed laps and we kept the same fuel level all day. We also decided against using the F-Duct for this Young Driver test so top speeds are a little bit down.”
What comes next
Tomorrow, Wednesday, Sergio Pérez, also from Mexico, will be in the car for the second Young Driver test day. The 20-year old from Guadalajara was announced as the team’s second race driver for 2011 – alongside Kamui Kobayashi – in October.