Esteban Gutiérrez will serve as Ferrari’s reserve driver next year after two seasons with Sauber.

The Mexican will provide support to full-time drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen and carry out virtual mileage in Ferrari’s simulator, the team has confirmed.

“We are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to Esteban who, although young, has plenty of experience relating to the new generation of Formula 1 cars,” said Maurizio Arrivabene, Ferrari’s newly-appointed team principal.

“I am sure he will make an important contribution to the development work of the team in the simulator. Welcoming Esteban also means opening the gates of Ferrari to a driver from Mexico, a country where the Scuderia still has a lot of fans, just as was the case fifty years ago in the days of the Rodríguez brothers.”

“It is an honour to become part of the Scuderia Ferrari family, a team with such an exceptional history,” Gutiérrez, who began his F1 career as a reserve at Sauber, added.

“It is the beginning of a new path for my future and I’m going to do my utmost to contribute to the achievement of the targets set by the Scuderia.

“I want to thank everybody for their belief in my potential; this will bring a great opportunity for me to develop further and get to the top in the near future,” he said.

The 23-year-old competed in 38 Formula 1 races over a two-year stint with Sauber, claiming a best finish of seventh place at Japanese Grand Prix in 2013.

Image via XPB Images

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Blaž Štremfelj

Journalist at MotorsportM8