Well-bred champion: Esteban Gutierrez.
Monza. When Esteban Gutierrez (Josef Kaufmann Racing) appears in the BMW Members Lounge after the presentation ceremony, laden with his trophy and bottle of champagne, he politely holds the door open to a lady. The winner of Formula BMW Europe clearly comes from a well-bred family. In the paddock the Mexican has a reputation for being friendly, courteous and obliging. With seven wins under his belt and the highest points tally of all 30 drivers, he has demonstrated his mental strength and assertiveness out on the race track. When you meet the 17-year-old, you soon realise that he possesses all the prerequisites for a career in professional motor racing.
Gutierrez was raised in Monterrey, Mexico, the fifth of six children born to Clara and Roberto Gutierrez. A capital inheritance, as well as his parents' successful development of their own Multigama food wholesale business, formed the financial bedrock of their son's motor sport career. He proved his Formula racing talent in the 2007 Formula BMW USA, where he won the title "Rookie of the Year" before switching to Formula BMW Europe in 2008.
In 16 races, he has made it onto the podium 12 times. With seven wins, six of them in a row, and three pole positions, he left the competition trailing. "I was incredibly thrilled about every single victory," recalls Gutierrez, beaming from ear to ear. It is his very positive outlook that gives him strength even in a crisis. For that he has his mother Clara to thank: a writer in Mexico, she has published a book on the subject of "value education" and bequeathed her children with a moral framework for life.
To avoid exhausting flights to and from Mexico during the race season, Esteban Gutierrez has spent this year living with a host family in Madrid, where he also attended school. But the family supporters from Mexico were out in force at every race. "My family is very important to me. I feel comfortable when there are a lot of them there. That's something that definitely distinguishes us Central and South Americans from the Europeans," says Gutierrez. In Mexico he already enjoys star status. The newspapers there have major reports on the up-and-coming young driver splashed across their pages. If he carries on in the same vein, there will be plenty to read about him in the European press as well.
-credit: fbmw eu