Sauber have confirmed that Esteban Gutierrez will stay at the team for the 2014 season.
In a late announcement on Saturday, the Sauber team announced the 22-year-old Mexican will partner up with German driver Adrian Sutil for next season. The Swiss teams sponsorship deal with Mexican telecommunications company Telmex will also continue next year.
Despite Gutierrez’s only points of the season coming from his seventh place at the Japanese Grand Prix, Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said the rookie deserves another chance: “Last season he experienced first-hand how hard it can be for a rookie to step into Formula 1.
“Nevertheless, throughout the season he improved significantly in qualifying as well as in the races and finished the season as the best rookie in the drivers’ championship.
“Often the results didn’t fully reflect his performances. I am confident Esteban will be able to use his experiences to gain results.”
Gutierrez said: “It was a steep learning curve last season, but by working closely with the team I was able to improve continuously. It will be my fourth year with the team, the second as a racing driver, and I feel comfortable in taking the next step.”
The news comes after a couple of week of speculation with regards to Gutierrez’s future. The young Mexican rookie had been looking around the Caterham and Marussia team factory in early December.
Sauber also announced that 18-year-old Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin will become a test driver for the team, as they look to develop his skills to become a future F1 driver. Given his lack of experience in top machinery, the Sauber deemed it too much of a risk to throw the Russian straight in at the deep end.