This 2016 season, Mexican Formula One driver Esteban Gutierrez will embark on his third full F1 season as a result of Ferrari’s deal with Haas F1 team.
Haas F1, which is owned and managed by American industrialist Gene Haas, has a multi-year technical agreement with the Italian company. Apart from getting engines, transmissions and technical support from Ferrari, Haas will also work with Ferrari’s drivers, with reserve driver Gutierrez getting a seat alongside Frenchman Romain Grosjean.
Born in August 5, 1991 in the city of Monterrey in northeast Mexico, Gutierrez had his start in karting in 2004 at the Rotax Max Challenge, proving competitive in the series. In an interview posted on the Haas F1 website, Gutierrez said he got bit by the racing bug early on.
“Racing is a lot about optimizing all the tools available and that process makes it very exciting to me,” the 24-year-old said. “When I was younger, I watched the races live and on TV. I could feel incredible excitement through the actions of the drivers on track. That drove me to become a driver that inspires people through competition and my achievements.”
After three years in karting, the then-16-year-old Gutierrez moved to single-seaters at the Formula BMW USA series, finishing the season second. He then moved to the Formula BMW Europe series in 2008, finishing as the season’s champion with seven wins and 12 podium finishes.
The next year, Gutierrez moved to Formula Three under ART Grand Prix, finishing ninth overall. Attentive of his success in Formula BMW, the BMW F1 team gave Gutierrez his first taste of an F1 car, testing him at the end of 2009 even though they were poised to leave the series. Afterwards, Gutierrez raced for ART in the first year of the GP3 Series in 2010, winning the inaugural season.
“The greatest achievement I can get is to win, so I would say winning the GP3 series title was pretty special,” he said.
Still with ART, he moved up to GP2 in 2011, where he finished the season 13th. This was also the year when Sauber F1 made Gutierrez their reserve driver. The next year, he managed a third-place finish in GP2, before Sauber made him their main driver alongside Nico Hulkenberg for the 2013 season.
His stellar career in lower Formula cars didn’t rub off in F1. Despite a lackluster season, Sauber chose to retain Gutierrez for the 2014 season, where he failed to score a single point. By 2015, he moved to Ferrari as its reserve and test driver for Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
Outside of racing, Gutierrez said he plays golf and tennis and likes to read books. He is also an avid Coldplay fan, and listens to electronic music and jazz. When he’s not in an F1 car, he drives an Alfa Romeo Giuletta.