• Malaysian Grand Prix

Gutierrez hoping for Hulkenberg reference

ESPN Staff
March 21, 2013 « Bianchi promises there is more to come | Hulkenberg not on the back foot »
Esteban Gutierrez finished 13th on debut at Melbourne © Sutton Images
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Esteban Gutierrez admits he is hoping to get a reference against team-mate Nico Hulkenberg at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg didn't manage to start the Australian Grand Prix after a fuel system problem forced Sauber to withdraw the car on safety grounds. With Gutierrez completing the race distance on his grand prix debut he said it was a shame he couldn't compare his performance to his team-mate but hopes Hulkenberg has a smoother weekend at Sepang.

"I think it's good to have a good reference, especially knowing that Nico is a very quick and consistent driver," Gutierrez said. "Yes it was not the ideal situation for him not to do the race in Melbourne - it would be nice to have that reference up until this race - but now this race let's hope for a good reference and to get that reference to try to move on."

Despite being the only Sauber in the race and only finishing 13th, Gutierrez said he was pleased to be able to get his first race finish under his belt.

"For me the experience was very important. Being able to say that I finished my first Formula One race is already quite a good step. From then on, taking the experience in to account I will try to improve on the points where I can improve following this second challenge in Malaysia. It will be very different circumstances but I think it will be exciting."

Gutierrez added that he was feeling no pressure to follow in the footsteps of Sergio Perez this weekend after Perez finished second for Sauber here in 2012.

"Obviously it's something that is there but I'm not going to think about it because it's different circumstances. The weather is varying a lot here and it's playing a big role on how the race is going but I'm going to try and do my best, going at my own pace step by step."