F1 team owner Gene Haas believes Gutierrez has a point to prove

Gene Haas feels Esteban Gutierrez will have plenty to prove on his full-time return to Formula 1 in 2016

F1 team owner Gene Haas believes Gutierrez has a point to prove

With Sauber, Gutierrez endured two tough seasons in F1 in 2013 and '14, scoring points in just one of 38 grands prix when he was seventh in Japan in his debut campaign.

The 24-year-old Mexican was signed by Ferrari and ran as test and reserve driver last season, which helped him secure a drive for 2016 with Haas.

Gutierrez will turn his first laps with the team next Tuesday, on the second day of the Barcelona test, after team-mate Romain Grosjean drives on the opening day.

"He's young, he wants to be a Formula 1 driver, and if he wants to stay in F1 then he's going to have to prove he can get things done," Haas told Autosport of Gutierrez.

"Any driver that has been in Formula 1 for a number of years and hasn't won a race, then he's going to be in the hotseat.

"But as much as he didn't do anything in '15, he was in the Ferrari simulator all the time, and he became very familiar with how the engine and transmission package works.

"Because of the knowledge required - and I've learned this from Grosjean, about when to recharge your batteries and when to apply the extra power needed on track - you have to know all that if you really want to expect to get the maximum out of the car."

Gutierrez was announced as Grosjean's team-mate at the end of October, on the weekend of the Mexican Grand Prix, with the Frenchman's move from Lotus confirmed five weeks earlier.

"We had made an offer to one current Formula 1 driver and he turned us down, which was perfectly acceptable," said Haas.

"Then for some reason Grosjean started talking to us. I was a little bit surprised.

"Because of the first experience we had where we got turned down I thought, 'This could be a little harder than we think because you're taking a big leap to come to a start-up team, especially if you've got an existing ride'.

"But Grosjean came over because of the troubles Lotus were having. That was really the thing that made him want to change."

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