Mexican sensation Esteban Gutierrez to fly high with Nicholas Todt's team French ART Grand Prix team, having launched Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel into Formula One, has signed rising Mexican star Esteban Gutierrez for the 2009 F3 Euro ...
Mexican sensation Esteban Gutierrez to fly high with Nicholas Todt's team
French ART Grand Prix team, having launched Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel into Formula One, has signed rising Mexican star Esteban Gutierrez for the 2009 F3 Euro series. The 17-year old from Monterrey tested with the team last November at Magny-Cours.
"I feel very happy to be part of a very competitive series; I think that this way I will learn a lot of new things that will serve as an experience to get better as a driver. I feel very happy to have come to an agreement with ART, to compete in this series. I feel grateful to my family, and the people working with me, because I know we will work all together looking for the victory, always being proud to be a Mexican. With God's help I will put all my effort and dedication to obtain the best possible results with a lot of enthusiasm," commented Gutierrez.
ART Grand Prix is co-owned by Nicholas Todt, offspring of ex-Ferrari F1 Tsar Jean Todt. The younger Todt also manages current Ferrari driver Felipe Massa and talented young French driver Jules Bianchi. The 2009 season will see a star studded line-up of drivers at ART Grand Prix. Bianchi, won the Marlboro Masters at Zolder over highly-rated German Nico Hulkenberg, is likely to be teammate to Gutierrez. Hulkenberg moves over to the team's GP2 operation.
"I am pleased to confirm Esteban, who had a very strong and succesfull season in Formula BMW last year, as ART F3 driver; he did a very good job during our winter test session at Magny-Cours and the collaboration with our engineers was perfect; we will have a very strong line up for 2009 and our target will be to catch a sixth title in a row. Regarding Esteban, the gap between formula BMW and F3 is important but I am sure that Esteban will be a hard worker, he will improve during the season, and will be able to score some wins" commented the manager of the team, Frederic Vasseur.
The first pre-season Formula 3 Euro series test takes place on March 18th and 19th at Estoril in Portugal, venue of Ayrton Senna's first Formula One victory in 1985. Opening round is on the weekend of May 17th at Hockenheimring.
Gutierrez, who hails from Monterrey, made a magnificent start to his single- seater racing career in 2007 by capturing pole position for his first ever race at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. With 4 wins and 8 podium finishes in 14 races he captured Rookie of the Year award and finished second overall in the championship.
Crossing the pond in 2008 he made a big splash in the Formula BMW Europe championship. Winning seven races, including an amazing run of six successive wins, and climbing the podium in 12 of 16 events.
He later tested waters in the Formula Masters series and on his maiden attempt took an impressive third place, only 3.3s behind race winner. Last month in Mexico City, he started the Formula BMW World Finals from pole position and finished third.
With tremendous racing talent and a good head on his shoulders, Gutierrez is the next big Latin wave and competition will endure a choppy ride.
Nasir Hameed is a free lance journalist and regular contributor to www.f1weekly.com podcast.