Gutierrez: “I was ready” to drive for Sauber

F1 Fanatic round-up

Sergio Perez, Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Sergio Perez, Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Abu Dhabi, 2010

In the round-up: Sauber reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez is disappointed to miss chance to race.

Today is the Le Mans 24 Hours which we’ll be covering on F1 Fanatic Live along with the Canadian Grand Prix final practice session and qualifying.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Esteban Gutierrez on Twitter

“It’s a shame to hear about Montreal, hope [Sergio Perez] gets better, but I never received indication to prevent this situation. I was ready..”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Bahraini jails ‘no lonely place’ (BBC Radio 4)

“Al’aa Shehadi, a British-born woman whose husband [an employee of the Bahrain International Circuit] has been arrested and is awaiting sentence, told James Naughtie how he was held in incommunicado detention for 48 days before being put on trail”.

Martin Whitmarsh Q&A On Bahrain: ??There aren?t any winners???? (Adam Cooper)

“In fairness I think Ferrari didn?t express a view one way or the other in the [World Motor Sport Council] meeting, in the transcript I?ve read”.

Red Bull on Twitter

“Beaver Ban! All the marmots have been captured and taken from the island to keep the track kill numbers down. Understandable, but a shame…”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Terry Fullerton ?ǣ the Norwich man Ayrton Senna had to follow (Eastern Daily Press)

“Michael Bailey speaks to the Norwich man Formula One legend Ayrton Senna hailed as his greatest racing adversary.”

Trailer trash (The Guardian)

“I hear Fullerton, the world karting champion in 1973, has now been invited by Jeremy Clarkson to drive on Top Gear”.

Lotus 101 Grand Prix car set to return to Snetterton Lotus Festival (Snetterton)

“The Lotus 101 Formula One car from 1989 is the latest product from the factory to be confirmed at the Lotus Festival, which takes place at Snetterton on June 25/26.”

Glock: Virgin right to split with Wirth (Autosport)

Timo Glock: “It is the right move. We all want to move forward and the team wasn’t happy with the performance of the car so they made the decision”.

Adam Cooper via Twitter

“A lot of support for Twitter/social media, although Adam Parr doesn’t get it and Ferrari is paranoid about info getting out. Ferrari drivers aren’t allowed to do it in case they say something they shouldn’t. Not that Alonso could be bothered…”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

F1 2011 Live Interview w/ Stephen Hood

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

The DRS debate isn’t going away:

F1: Gasoline, oil, rubber, heat, sweat, noise, speed, danger, flash, umbrella girls, sex, money and excitement.

??Activation point?? is not sitting well with me at this moment.
Alex Bkk

From the forum

Sixteen F1 Fanatics are participating in the GT5 24 Laps of Le Mans today.

Based purely on what they’re driving, I’m rooting for Damon Smedley (Sauber Mercedes C9) and ed24f1 (Mazda 787B). Have fun everyone!

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Fernando Alonso dominated the British Grand Prix five years ago today.

He won from pole position, set fastest lap and led all bar one of the 60 laps of Silverstone in his Renault.

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78 comments on Gutierrez: “I was ready” to drive for Sauber

  1. Whitty 123 said on 11th June 2011, 0:42

    Going watching “Senna” today at Odeon Printworks in Machester, can’t wait!

    Only problem is I will miss Qualifying!!!

    First session missed in probably 6 years, this film better be as good as I’ve read and expect! :)

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 11th June 2011, 0:49

      It’s good, but worth missing a session? Hmmm. In any case you’ll enjoy it. Hopefully you can catch Qualifying in replay.

      • Whitty 123 said on 11th June 2011, 0:59

        I’m recording Qualifying but it’s never the same as live :/

        I once recorded a Australia vs England Rugby League match because I couldn’t be bothered getting up to see it live after working late the night before and watched it feeling somewhat guilty knowing everything I was seeing had already happened.

        Anyway it ended up us English being trounced as usual. So I’m expecting to come home and see a Red Bull lockout. As usual.

        • wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 11th June 2011, 3:26

          Missing the quali but watching the movie Senna is a good price you pay.

        • US_Peter said on 11th June 2011, 3:33

          One of the reasons qualifying is never as good on replay is that you can’t watch the live timing. I just got the official F1 timing app today for the first time though and was surprised to discover that you can replay any session from the season so far with the ability to pause, rewind, and fast forward. The main reason I’d never bought it was that I thought it would only be useful for live sessions. I’m watching FP2 now on my DVR after getting home from work, and I’ve queued the app up in sync with my replay, it works really well! The best part is you can see where all cars are on track at any given time, which is incredibly useful when you’re wondering where a driver is who’s not being shown on the FOM feed. You can also lock on any driver and it follows them around the circuit. You can move the circuit around in 3D and zoom in and out… Frankly I’m impressed, and would recommend it to anyone interested. It would probably not be as great on a phone as it is on a tablet, but still, spread out over the whole season I think it’s worth the price for most fanatics. Sorry to sound like an advertisement, but I’m very excited about the app and wish I’d bought it back at the beginning of the season! End shill.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th June 2011, 8:11

            Cool to see they thought about that Peter. Might be a killer app for that replay and time adjustment settings alone!

            They might have told all the people complaining about how badly the SPEED delayed live show ruined using the live timing though.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 11th June 2011, 8:25

            Ah, now that’s somewhere I’m not sure it would work. You can download any session and replay it after the fact, but if a session is time-delayed by five minutes it would still be a live session, so I’m not sure if the pause functions still work. I’ll have to mess around with it a bit more, but it definitely does make some of the delayed racing a lot more palatable, and since we’re entering the dreaded FOX portion of the season for the next 4 races in the US, it might well come in very handy.

          • US_Peter said on 11th June 2011, 15:13

            Just tried that out, and it looks like you can pause and run back in a live session as well!

  2. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 11th June 2011, 0:47

    I was bummed for Gutierrez that whe wasn’t called up to drive for Sauber, but the more I think about it the more I think it may have been the right move. Had he had a poor outing in the race, it could’ve put a hamper on his F1 career for the future.

  3. Kirky (@) said on 11th June 2011, 0:53

    Didn’t do Vettel any harm back in 07.

  4. watty (@watty) said on 11th June 2011, 1:23

    What’s the point of having reserve drivers in f1… they never seem to be chosen when the chance arrives

    • The Last Pope said on 11th June 2011, 1:47

      I think we need to find a new name for them. They used to be test drives but then they couldn’t test, so they became reserve drives but now they can’t do that either lol. Sponsor Driver maybe?

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 11th June 2011, 2:42

      To be honest, if I had the choice between the inexperienced Gutierrez and the very experienced de la Rosa to replace a driver on short notice, I’d go with Pedro without a moment’s hesitation.

      • Hamish said on 11th June 2011, 3:35

        Yea but what have they got to lose? DLR has had many chances, even in a McLaren, and he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.

        The only way Kobayashi as discovered was by being thrown into the deep end.

        • US_Peter said on 11th June 2011, 3:37

          True. Vettel in the points for Sauber in ’07 sprang to mind as well.

        • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 11th June 2011, 3:41

          What do they have to lose? Well, a possible points finish, for a start.

          I’m not saying Pedro is the greatest driver in the world, I’m saying he’s the safer of two options. I think it’s wiser to go with experience, especially when Gutierrez would have missed an entire session’s worth of running.

          Had Perez had decided not to compete in the lead up towards the race, I’d have said Gutierrez would’ve have a red hot chance of racing this weekend. Because it’s such short notice, I still maintain that experience is the way to go.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 4:12

          Yea but what have they got to lose? DLR has had many chances, even in a McLaren, and he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.

          A poor performance from Gutierrez could have ruined his entire career.

          • Hamish said on 11th June 2011, 4:43

            True, but theres only one way to find that out isn’t there. If hes to be an F1 driver hes got to race at some stage goesn’t he?

            Whats the alternative, wait until January testing and come Bahrain 2012 we will be in the same situation we are in now.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 5:19

            If hes to be an F1 driver hes got to race at some stage goesn’t he?

            Yes – if he’s going to be a Formula 1 driver. When Gutierrez signed to Sauber, there was never a guarantee of racing for them. If you look at his GP2 results, he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. He finshed eleventh in GP2 Asia, picking up a fourth place in the Imola sprint race, and he’s currently twenty-third in GP2 with a best finish of eleventh in the Istanbul sprint. He’s also been out-qualified by his team mate at every round of both championships. Bear in mind that he’s racing for Lotus ART, one of the best teams in the entire GP2 category. He’s probably the msot disappointing driver on the GP2 grid right now (though he has had his share of bad luck). I know that GP2 results should be taken with a grain of salt – Kamui Kobayashi is living proof of that – but they are generally accepted as being the best representation of a young driver’s talent. So he’s got a disappointing track record in GP2, he’s at a circuit that he’s never seen before, and he would have had just one hour of free practice (since Perez’s car would have needed to be re-fit for him) to familiarise himself with it and start working on a race setup for a race twice as long as anything he has ever driven before … and you think that he should be given a chance?

          • Hamish said on 11th June 2011, 6:11

            Once again you’re missing my point. Using your justificatiom then, why on earth was he signed in the first place?

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 11th June 2011, 6:19

            Up and down the paddock he’s generally considered to be something special and a future F1 driver. People with much more knowledge than most of us with regards to the sport and to him. As Will Buxton said “they don’t call him ‘the chosen one’ for nothing.”

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 8:02

            Using your justificatiom then, why on earth was he signed in the first place?

            Because he did really well in GP3 last year. And sometimes it takes a driver a season or two to acclimatise to GP2. Like I said, he’s had bad luck – I’m pretty sure he’s been taken out of the running by other drivers on at least two occasions. In signing him, Sauber are banking on his future, but he was never intended as a short-term investment. Sergio Perez is a part of the Ferrari program, and Kamui Kobayashi has been attracting a lot of attention. Sauber clearly don’t expect to hang onto them forever, but at the same time, you’ve got Massa re-signing with Ferrari, Webber wanting to stay at Red Bull for another year, McLaren cosy with Button and Hamilton until the end of 2012, and Mercedes slowly falling away from everyone else. I wouldn’t expect an opening at Sauber for Gutierrez to fit into until at least 2013. And the team themselves obviously recognise that. They’ll be working with him to steadily improve his performances through GP2, but they know it takes time. They don’t want to put him in a Formula 1 car too soon, because a bad showing can break his confidence and hurt his future. Sauber’s plan for Gutierrez probably doesn’t call for him to take part in a Grand Prix until 2012 at the earliest. Gutierrez is only nineteen years old, so he’s got a lot of time on his side. Compare that to Vitaly Petrov, Jerome d’Ambrosio and Paul di Resta, who made their debuts at twenty-five and Pastor Maldonado who was twenty-six when he raced in Australia this year. True, Sebastian Vettel because World Champion at the age of twenty-three, but if Esteban Gutierrez was racing this weekend, he would be the fifth-youngest driver after Jaime Alguersuari, Mike Thackwell, fellow Mexican Ricardo Rodriguez and Fernando Alonso (and possibly Esteban Tuero and Chris Amon).

            So what’s the rush to get him into a race seat?

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th June 2011, 8:13

          But Sauber now needs the points to compete their 6th place in the constructors.

          And I would think another aspect might have been Perez. How would he feel, if the next hot young Mexican took his seat? Wouldn’t that get him seriously nervous about his seat.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 8:31

            Wouldn’t that get him seriously nervous about his seat.

            I don’t think so. It would take more than a common cold to sideline him, especially after he missed Monaco. So he’s probably feeling pretty sick, and that’s hardly his fault.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th June 2011, 9:49

            But surely that nag of doubt might slip in with Guttierez replacing him here.

            Especially if part of it is him feeling insecure about his own confidence of getting it nailed perfectly.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 10:05

            But surely that nag of doubt might slip in with Guttierez replacing him here.

            Maybe – but I don’t think a driver can get near Formula 1 if he allows himself insecurities.

  5. Oliver said on 11th June 2011, 1:43

    Wasn’t it the WMSC that voted to fine Mclaren $100 Million.
    It has a few teams as members and as far as I’m concerned its a joke of a council. Ghost of Mosley at work.
    If the WMSC had all teams as members, then we could have had a robust opposition to the farce the FIA and Bernie have been trying to pull.

  6. Hmm. Maybe teams should think about employing reserve drivers they consider to be viable replacements for their regular drivers in the event one of them were unable to compete? And then keep them around during race weekends? I don’t know, just a thought…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 2:40

      I think the issue is that Sauber felt Gutierrez was a little too inexperienced to go racing in Canada. He might be their reserve driver, but he is very young, and he’s never raced at Montreal before. Now, if we were talking about somewhere like Barcelone or Istanbul, they’d probably put him in the cockpit without a second thought. But de la Rosa only got about ten minutes’ running time in the second practice session, a third practice is just one hour – Gutierrez wouldn’t have had time to learn the circuit, much less work on his set-up.

      • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 11th June 2011, 2:44

        That’s exactly how I see it. The rookies lose out because of the testing restrictions throughout the season which makes having an experienced reserve driver far more precious to a team than an inexperienced one.

        I understand why Gutierrez is annoyed, I know I would be, but his opportunity will come eventually.

        • Xanathos said on 11th June 2011, 3:49

          testing or no testing, he wouldn’t have driven that track before, so it was the right decision to call up De La Rosa.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 8:11

            He probably has in the team simulator and walked the circuit with the drivers, but there’s no substitute for on-the-ground knowledge.

      • US_Peter said on 11th June 2011, 3:48

        I agree. I was majorly disappointed for Gutierrez, but I think you’re right, it has to do with the circuit more than anything and Sauber has simply made the pragmatic decision. The fact that Gutierrez first learned of it on Twitter is a bit disappointing though. Clearly it was planned as a contingency as they had DLR’s 2010 seat on hand and had reportedly already chatted with Whitmarsh earlier in the week about releasing him. Gutierrez should’ve been called and explained the situation so that it didn’t come as such a surprise when he read it on Twitter like the rest of us.

  7. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 11th June 2011, 3:28

    I am also a bit disspointed,Esteban Gutierrez showed good pace in testing.Hope he get a chance sometime in other place if not in Sauber.

  8. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 11th June 2011, 3:48

    Thanks for the confidence for my car choice at the Le Mans race, Keith!

    Unfortunately I’ve been forced to do a late engine repair (read fixing my PS3 problems), so hopefully I can be ready for race start.

  9. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 11th June 2011, 6:03

    that’s silly. i’m sure there will be plenty of beaver at the race.

  10. Oliver said on 11th June 2011, 7:11

    Traveling at high speed round a very narrow circuit, demands a lot of concentration, and is stress on the brain. I am not surprised Perez is feeling slightly dizzy. I doubt this has anything to do with experience. It was the best decision to get him out of the car.

  11. Balauderaa said on 11th June 2011, 7:15

    Maybe if Perez isn’t better for Valencia they’ll let Gutierrez race I mean it’s not so very long ago that sauber let a certain young German race in place of Kubica.

  12. verstappen said on 11th June 2011, 8:49

    Regarding Perez’ health, I think it’s just like with training: all the drivers say there is really no substitue for driving an F1 car.

    So, if you have all these tests, simulators, response time etc etc, it’s different from driving a car round a track, including all the G-Forces. I think no medical staff is to blame for not letting him drive.

    Though this all makes me wonder why teams don’t have three year old cars for (unlimited) rookie tests? I know tyres are a bit of a problem there, but I remember Jos Verstappen driving with Avon tyres, when Avon only supplied F3 adn F1 was supplied by Bridgestone and Michelin. This to make sure he got some milage. And Schumacher used GP2 tyres, didn’t he, when driving around in the clienti Ferrari, before his ‘comeback’ when Massa was hurt?

    And there’s cost, but I think if you can guarantee your third driver some milage, it’s fair to ask a little fee for that.

    Anyway, it would’ve prepared Guitierez for driving the Sauber (or the team would’ve known for sure that he isn’t up to it yet).

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 9:22

      Anyway, it would’ve prepared Guitierez for driving the Sauber (or the team would’ve known for sure that he isn’t up to it yet).

      Maybe it would have been possible if Perez was feeling sick ahead of FP1. That way, Gutierrez could have had a go in FP1, and de la Rosa in FP2 and FP3. But as it stood, Perez did the first ninety-minute session before feeling unwell. Sauber then had to find a replacement driver and reconfigure Perez’s car to accomodate him – which cost them an hour of the second practice session. Then they lost fifteen-twenty minutes with red flags and session stoppages. So car #17 would have had just seventy minutes (ten minutes in FP2, sixty in FP3) for the team to give Gutierrez some mileage and then get Pedro de la Rosa in the car – and on top of all that, the car would have had to have gone through Sauber’s entire testing programme. That can’t be done in just seventy minutes.

      • verstappen said on 11th June 2011, 10:24

        Everrybody can have a stupid accident. Like slipping in your hotel bathroom. So all teams should have a contingency plan in place. Apparantly Sauber did not. In this case their choice is right, I think.

        My suggestion of using three year old cars to give reserve drivers some milage and more possibility to evaluate them, could have prevented what’s happened now.

        • verstappen said on 11th June 2011, 10:38

          To add on that:
          They could’ve used the three year old car to first evaluate Perez’ health. And if Perez wasn’t fit, to evaluate Gutierez. If Guitierez did well, they had the chance to give him extra simulator time, to prepare him.

  13. BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th June 2011, 9:14

    As soon as I read that comment by Alex Bkk, I felt it should be a COTD.

    Sums it up perfectly!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 9:32

      Challenge accepted. I’m going to take each one of Alex’s words to describe Formula 1 and sterilise them:


      Liquid fuel refined from crude oils.


      Synthetic lubricant added to engine.


      Springy substance derived from trees.


      Scientific phenomenon generated by friction.


      Biochemical reaction to increased temperatures that causes the body to release fluids to cool self down.


      Extreme quantities of sound that have no musical structure.


      Common name for increased velocity in the absence of interia.


      Heightened state of physical risk.


      Brief and abrupt release of concentrated quantities of light.

      umbrella girls

      Women holding synthetic dome-shaped shelter to protect body against elements.


      Process of physical reproduction.


      Quantitative measure of economic status quo.


      Heightened state of emotional anticipation.

      Why else do you think Mercedes call the DRS trigger the ‘Magic Button’?

  14. Hairs (@hairs) said on 11th June 2011, 10:27

    Yep, Gutierrez was so hyped and ready to step into Perez’s shoes when he knew that there was at least a 50/50 chance he might not be able to race, that he was right there…

    in a different country, ready to step into the car.

    Note to Gutierez: The cars have “fly by wire” controls. The wires aren’t actually that long.

  15. Oscar Becker (@super_swede_96) said on 11th June 2011, 11:27

    Does Gutierrez even have a superlicense?

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