Mercedes has no firm plans to let Gutierrez get F1 race licence

The Mercedes Formula 1 team has no definite plans to give Esteban Gutierrez track mileage in the near future, despite a new rule for 2020 making the Mexican ineligible for an FIA super licence unless he has conducted a test.

Mercedes has no firm plans to let Gutierrez get F1 race licence

Along with Stoffel Vandoorne, Gutierrez has been named as a reserve driver for the Mercedes, McLaren and Racing Point teams.

However a change to the super licence rules outlined in the FIA’s International Sporting Code specifies that drivers who have not raced in F1 for three seasons have to do 300kms of running to re-qualify for a super licence.

Gutierrez last raced with Haas in 2016, while Vandoorne is eligible as he drove for McLaren in 2018.

Regarding drivers who held a licence over three years ago the rule states: “In this case, the driver must be judged by the FIA to have recently and consistently demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater formula cars.

“The F1 Team concerned must show that the applicant has driven at least 300kms in a representative F1 car consistently at racing speeds, over a maximum period of two days and completed not more than 180 days prior to the application, either certified by the ASN of the country in which the test took place or during an event counting towards the FIA Formula One World Championship for Drivers.”

Vandoorne is committed to Formula E in Berlin for the 70th Anniversary weekend, but thereafter he will be available to be the primary reserve for Mercedes.

The Brackley team has indicated that Gutierrez won’t have a chance to log the necessary mileage by replacing one of its race drivers on a race weekend Friday.

It is looking for an opportunity to give him a run, potentially in its 2018 car, as used by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas for pre-season running at Silverstone. However no date has been scheduled as yet.

The sporting regulations also contain the provision for a driver who hasn’t raced for two years to conduct a day of testing in a current car, but only after he has been nominated to replace a race driver, which means it is not a last minute option. If a driver does such a test and then doesn’t race the team is docked a day of testing the following season.

Read Also:

Gutierrez’s current ineligibility meant that when Sergio Perez tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the British GP Racing Point had no option but to look elsewhere when it settled on Nico Hulkenberg.

“I think Esteban would have been a really strong candidate for the seat," said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. “But unfortunately he didn’t qualify. There is a new rule this year that if you haven’t raced in an F1 car in an official event for the last three years, you need to have done a test of at least 300km.

“That is a new rule that came into effect this year, which we didn’t particularly look at, because we didn’t think that a F1 driver that previously had a strong record wouldn’t qualify for the drive, but that was the case with Esteban, and therefore Racing Point opted for the other option. It wasn’t a bad option at all, for Nico Hulkenberg.

“We have to analyse now what it means for us. It’s a shame, because giving Esteban a chance is always nice, and he’s been a strong part of the team and a strong pillar of the team. Obviously I don’t hope that it’s ever necessary that we need a reserve driver. If we would have given him the chance. As it looks, we need to come up with another solution.”

Both Vandoorne and Gutierrez have had seating fittings at McLaren, and driven the current car in the Woking simulator, in case they have to be called upon. Team principal Andreas Seidl played down the fact that Gutierrez is not currently available.

“We are obviously aware about the situation,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com. “But in the end it's not something we are too focused on at the moment. If the situation comes that we need a reserve driver, I'm sure that we will find a solution.”

shares
comments

Related video

Kubica returns to Alfa Romeo cockpit for Silverstone FP1

Previous article

Kubica returns to Alfa Romeo cockpit for Silverstone FP1

Next article

British GP: All the F1 winners since 1950

British GP: All the F1 winners since 1950
Load comments
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Prime

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021