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Sauber supports young Mexican driver

ESPNF1 Staff
February 26, 2010 « Mercedes unveils new gull-wing safety car | »
Guiterrez will join Sauber in the pits © Sutton Images
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GP3 driver Esteban Gutierrez has joined Sauber's driver development programme and will attend some of the grand prix this season as an observer.

As the Formula BMW champion in 2008, the 18-year-old was given his F1 debut by the team at the young drivers' test last December. In his new role he will be privy to radio communications, team meetings and the on-goings in the pits, but has not been given the formal title of reserve drive.

"We view this link-up as a kind of sponsorship arrangement," explained team boss Peter Sauber. "Nowadays you can only give young drivers a very limited amount of help in gaining a foothold in Formula One. With the limited number of testing opportunities, it is important for the teams to have the race drivers in the cars during those sessions. However, the world of Formula One is so complex that you can learn a great deal just by watching and listening to what's going on. That's the opportunity we're giving Esteban. And we will also help him to get himself in F1-trim physically."

He finished ninth in last year's European Formula 3 championship, taking two podiums. This season he is driving in the GP3 Series, which will run as a support event at seven of the grand prix.