Sauber F1 boss says it's too early to judge Esteban Gutierrez

Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn says the team will keep a close eye on Esteban Gutierrez's performances after a a difficult start to the year, although she concedes is too early to judge the Mexican

Sauber F1 boss says it's too early to judge Esteban Gutierrez

Gutierrez, the youngest driver on the grid at 21, is contesting his rookie grand prix campaign with the Swiss squad this year after two seasons in GP2, where he finished in third position last season.

He has managed a 14th place on the grid as his best qualifying result and a 12th position as his best race result so far.

The rookie was given a five-place grid penalty for the Bahrain GP after crashing into the back of Adrian Sutil in China.

Kaltenborn admitted the Mexican is struggling to be consistent, and although she is aware that it is far too early to make an assessment about him, she acknowledges Sauber cannot afford to waste any chances.

She said, however, that Sauber's drop in performance compared to 2012, when the team enjoyed one of its best seasons, also has to be considered when judging Gutierrez's form.

"A lot has to do with the performance of the car, so you have to be careful not to start making assessments after four races, but yes, we have to keep a very close eye on him and see if the expectations are satisfied or not," Kaltenborn told AUTOSPORT.

But the team principal made it clear Sauber has full faith in Gutierrez.

"We have no doubts about his mental capabilities to get on top of things and understand them," she said.

"But he is struggling at the moment with his performance. So we need to try to focus on get that potential out because we know it's there."

"The consistency is not there now. Of course we can say that when you hire a rookie driver you can't expect that at this stage. I think after four races it's fast too early to make that kind of assessment.

"You can't expect too much, on the one side, but on the other you have to expect a lot because you just have limited opportunities. And it's very difficult to balance this out.

"You have to give him a chance, but at the same time we know as a team we don't have many chances, and whatever you do in a season can have a straight impact on your finances for the future. So it's a tough call."

shares
comments
Formula 1's new cars set for January bow next year

Previous article

Formula 1's new cars set for January bow next year

Next article

Stronger qualifying pace a priority for Ferrari

Stronger qualifying pace a priority for Ferrari
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Esteban Gutierrez
Teams Sauber
Author Edd Straw
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?

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
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021