Esteban Gutierrez will race for Sauber in 2013

As expected, Sauber has finally confirmed a complete change in its driver line-up for the 2013 season.

The Swiss team has promoted reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez to its race line-up. with the announcement – which the team clearly had ready to make over two weeks ago – leaving Kamui Kobayashi scrambling to find sponsors to help buy his way into one of the few remaining seats on next year’s grid.

Gutiérrez will join Nico Hülkenberg in the outfit’s 2013 frontline line-up, while the team also confirmed that Dutch racer Robin Frijns will take over the role of reserve driver that Gutiérrez’s promotion leaves vacant.

“Esteban has already been part of the team for a long time and we have followed his career very closely,” Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said in the team’s media release.

“Esteban has great talent and now he’s ready to take the leap. We are in no doubt we have a strong driver pairing in place for the 2013 season with Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Gutiérrez.”

The announcement is hardly a surprise given recent speculation, but what was perhaps more interesting was the team’s failure to reword the press release it had clearly written and had ready to be announced ahead of last weekend’s Grand Prix in the United States.

The slip-up was apparent in Kaltenborn’s tribute to the team’s outgoing drivers…

“This has not been an easy decision for us to take, but we have committed ourselves to a new beginning and our time with Kamui will come to an end after the final two races of the season,” Kaltenborn added.

“We wish Kamui all the best for the future. Our thanks also go to Sergio Pérez, who has claimed three podiums for the team so far and now has the opportunity at McLaren-Mercedes to display his immense talent with one of the most successful teams in Formula One history. We would also like to wish Sergio all the best and every success for the future.”

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.