Mercedes has no firm plans to earn Gutierrez F1 race licence

The Mercedes Formula 1 team has no plans to give Esteban Gutierrez the 300km of running he'll need to qualify for a superlicence should he be needed as a replacement

Mercedes has no firm plans to earn Gutierrez F1 race licence

Along with Stoffel Vandoorne, ex-Sauber and Haas racer Gutierrez has been named as a reserve driver for the Mercedes, McLaren and Racing Point teams.

However a change to the super licence rules outlined in the FIA's International Sporting Code specifies that drivers who have not raced in F1 for three seasons have to do 300kms of running to re-qualify for a super licence.

Gutierrez last raced with Haas in 2016, while current Mercedes Formula E driver Vandoorne is eligible as he drove for McLaren in 2018.

Vandoorne is committed to FE in Berlin for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone, but thereafter he will be available to be the primary reserve for Mercedes.

The Brackley team has indicated that Gutierrez won't have a chance to log the necessary mileage by replacing one of its race drivers on a race weekend Friday.

It is looking for an opportunity to give him a run, potentially in its 2018 car, as used by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas for pre-season running at Silverstone.

The sporting regulations also contain the provision for a driver who hasn't raced for two years to conduct a day of testing in a current car, but only after he has been nominated to replace a race driver, which means it is not a last-minute option.

If a driver does such a test and then doesn't race the team is docked a day of testing the following season.

Gutierrez's current ineligibility meant that when Sergio Perez tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the British GP, Racing Point had no option but to look elsewhere when it settled on Nico Hulkenberg.

"I think Esteban would have been a really strong candidate for the seat," said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

"But unfortunately he didn't qualify.

"There is a new rule this year that if you haven't raced in an F1 car in an official event for the last three years, you need to have done a test of at least 300kms.

"We have to analyse now what it means for us.

"It's a shame, because giving Esteban a chance is always nice, and he's been a strong part of the team and a strong pillar of the team.

"Obviously, I don't hope that it's ever necessary that we need a reserve driver."

Both Vandoorne and Gutierrez have had seating fittings at McLaren, and driven the current car in the simulator, in case they have to be called upon.

Team principal Andreas Seidl has played down the fact that Gutierrez is not currently available.

shares
comments
Kubica set for latest Alfa Romeo F1 practice outing at Silverstone

Previous article

Kubica set for latest Alfa Romeo F1 practice outing at Silverstone

Next article

Mercedes "categorically" rules out DAS as cause of F1 British GP failures

Mercedes "categorically" rules out DAS as cause of F1 British GP failures
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Esteban Gutierrez
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021