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Sauber to 'keep a very close eye' on Gutierrez

ESPN Staff
April 29, 2013 « No prize money outside top ten | Marussia will survive - Symonds »
Monisha Kaltenborn says Esteban Gutierrez ' is struggling at the moment with his performance' © Sutton Images
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Monisha Kaltenborn says Sauber needs to "keep a very close eye" on Esteban Gutierrez following an underwhelming start to his Formula One career.

Gutierrez was promoted from a reserve driver role to replace Sergio Perez at Sauber this season, but has been comprehensively outperformed by team-mate Nico Hulkenberg so far. Kaltenborn admits that the car has not been as strong as expected, but says that just makes it harder to judge whether Gutierrez's performances have been acceptable or not.

"A lot has to do with the performance of the car, so you have to be careful not to start making assessments after four races, but yes, we have to keep a very close eye on him and see if the expectations are satisfied or not," Kaltenborn told Autosport.

"We have no doubts about his mental capabilities to get on top of things and understand them, but he is struggling at the moment with his performance. So we need to try to focus on get that potential out because we know it's there."

As for Hulkenberg, he has said that while he isn't pleased with the way the season has started, he doesn't think Sauber should switch its attentions to 2014 too soon.

"We are obviously not happy, neither myself nor the team," Hulkenberg told Motorsport-Magazin. "But the season is still long and we certainly are not going to write it off."