Esteban Gutierrez announced as second Haas F1 driver for 2016

Esteban Gutierrez has finally been confirmed as a Haas Formula 1 driver for the 2016 season

Esteban Gutierrez announced as second Haas F1 driver for 2016

Ferrari reserve Gutierrez's appointment has been one of the worst-kept secrets in F1, with the 24-year-old completing Haas's line-up alongside Romain Grosjean.

"I feel very, very happy to share this news that took quite a while to be able to share it, said Gutierrez, who was unveiled at the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City alongside team owner Gene Haas, team principal Guenther Steiner, and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Jr, a personal sponsor.

"I feel very grateful to Gene, who has faith in my potential as a driver and who feels I can contribute, and I feel we can achieve great things.

"The work we are doing with Haas, Ferrari and Maurizio [Arrivabene, team principal] is giving me an opportunity to be a part of the Ferrari family,

"For me, every weekend has become longer because I have become more and more anxious to get in the car.

"I am anxious to return to racing, but this has been one of the most important years of my career, and I am convinced we will have and share huge successes together."

The 2010 GP3 champion competed in GP2 for two seasons, finishing third in 2012, before being taken on by Sauber in 2013.

The campaign proved to be a steep learning curve for Gutierrez as he managed just one points finish, scoring just six points in total compared to the 51 of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

Last season proved to be the worst in Sauber's history, with neither Gutierrez nor team-mate Adrian Sutil collecting a point and both dropped at the end of the year.

Gutierrez at least secured his role with Ferrari, a link that helped him return to a race seat with Haas, which will use the Scuderia's power unit and other components from next year.

Haas said: "We looked very diligently at filling the seat, and the person we chose comes highly recommended by Ferrari.

"He has of history of racing in F1 in 2013 and '14 and is currently on the reserve Ferrari list so we we feel he has the potential to add to our team."

Steiner, meanwhile, is confident Gutierrez will help make Haas competitive from the off.

"This team started from zero, nothing, but they are making very good progress, on plan, and we will be there for the first test," said Steiner.

"Everything is going well, we have daily problems, but we have a lot of good people working for us and the technical partnership with Ferrari is working well

"Esteban has experience from Sauber, and then he went to Ferrari and learned even more.

"With Esteban and Romain we will be competitive in the first year, as good as we can be."

CONFIRMED 2016 F1 LINE-UP SO FAR:

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg
Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen
Williams-Mercedes: Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa
Force India-Mercedes: Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg
Lotus/Renault: Pastor Maldonado, Jolyon Palmer
Sauber-Ferrari: Felipe Nasr, Marcus Ericsson
McLaren-Honda: Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button
Manor-Mercedes: tba
Haas-Ferrari: Romain Grosjean, Esteban Gutierrez
Red Bull/Toro Rosso futures subject to engine supply deals

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