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Gutierrez unfazed by Sirotkin's impending arrival

ESPN Staff
July 25, 2013 « Hamilton not expecting to challenge for title | Ferrari hopes hinge on Hungary - Alonso »
Esteban Gutierrez believes he has a future at Sauber © Sutton Images

Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez is unfazed by the news that 17-year-old Sergey Sirotkin is being prepped to join the team next year alongside an injection of Russian money.

Sauber announced a new deal with three Russian partners earlier this month that it believes will secure its future going forward. Part of the arrangement is to give Sirotkin a race drive next year, which may put Gutierrez's position under threat, but the Mexican says he believes his future at Sauber is secure.

"That really doesn't make a difference in my current season, to be honest," he said. "My focus is here, it's in this season, and I know very well what I have with the team, what has been my path with them in the last few years, and what we are looking at into the future."

If Sirotkin does secure a race seat next year he will be the youngest ever driver in Formula One at just 18 years old. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who made his debut with McLaren at 22 years of age, reckons 18 is too young.

"I wasn't ready at 18 and I was pretty good at 18," he said.

However, Kimi Raikkonen does not think Sirotkin's age will be a major issue.

"I'm sure they will take him if they think it's the right thing," he said. "I don't see that age will be the problem, it's about experience and all the rest. He might be ready, he might not. Time will tell."