The Haas F1 Team has confirmed the widely-anticipated news that Ferrari reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez will partner Romain Grosjean in its debut Formula 1 season next year.
The Mexican driver was presented in front of local and international media in a press conference staged at the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City on Friday evening.
Team owner Gene Haas and team principal Günther Steiner were on hand to unveil the team’s second driver, along with Gutiérrez’s long-time backer, Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim.
“I feel very, very happy to share this news,” said Gutiérrez.
“This is an excellent opportunity that builds on my time with Ferrari and I will make the most of it.
“[Founder] Gene Haas believes in me and I believe in how he’s going about competing in Formula 1.
“To have a race seat in a competitive car with Ferrari power is very special, and I appreciate the faith he has in me. I trust we’ll be able to achieve great things together.”
Twenty-four-year-old Gutiérrez spent a largely inconclusive two-year spell at Sauber in 2013-14, claiming just one points’ finish at the Japanese Grand Prix in his rookie year. He then joined Ferrari’s reserve line-up, but his move to Haas has been something of an open secret ever since the team’s engine deal and technical partnership with Ferrari was announced earlier this year.
Gutiérrez’s appointment will also come with sponsorship from Slim’s America Movil telecommunications empire, with the stickers of its Claro and Telcel brands to adorn the bodywork of the Haas 2016 car.
Image via Motorsport.com
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