Esteban Gutierrez steps into the shoes of his close friend Sergio Perez this year as he graduates from the Sauber reserve role to a race seat. This is what the rookie has to say in a Q&A provided by the team today.
The start of the 2013 Formula One season is approaching. Is the adrenaline pumping yet?
“Not really, as I feel very calm at the moment. My goal is to focus on the most important things in my preparation, and then before Melbourne I’m quite sure we will all have the adrenaline pumping to the maximum.”
How did the winter preparations go?
“The winter preparations went really well. Apart from all my training back home, I also had the chance to spend very good days in Austria in December and January concentrating on my physical preparation, mainly based on winter sports like CrossCountry skiing, climbing through the snow, etc.”
What are your expectations of the Sauber F1 Team?
“With the progress the team has made in the previous years, I expect that as a team we will keep going in this same direction in order to reach our goals.”
Do you appreciate the close relationships the Sauber F1 Team nurtures with its fans?
“Yes definitely, I think that to share all experiences, both failures and victories, with the fans is the way to make sure all the energies coming from our supporters are positive.”
Tests involve a lot of hard graft. How do you prepare yourself?
“Mainly by keeping my mind clear for the tests so I can give my best feedback to the team, as it is a very important development stage in preparation for the races.”
How long does it actually take to adjust to a new car?
“In the beginning the most important task is to solve all the car’s reliability issues so we can put in a lot of laps in the tests. Then, of course, another important factor is to get to know the car in race and qualifying conditions, which mainly comes with experience during the first races.”
How well do you actually know your team-mate?
“I know that Nico has a similar working mentality to mine as prior to making it to Formula 1 we have raced in the same teams for a similar amount of time in the lower categories.”
What will be the greatest (sporting) challenge of the upcoming season?
“To be consistent at a good competitive level.”