Former Haas F1 driver Esteban Gutiérrez has announced his intentions to move into the FIA Formula E Championship as an official ambassador and also compete in ‘a number of select events’ across the remainder of the 2016/17 season, with a view to a full-time drive in the category for 2017/18.
While he is currently still in discussions with a number of entrants and is yet to sign for a team, the announcement made by Gutiérrez and the Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag today seemingly signals the end for the Mexican’s time in Formula 1.
Having been replaced at Haas team by Kevin Magnussen ahead of 2017, Gutiérrez had been linked to joining Manor Racing before the F1 minnows were placed into administration earlier this week.
While the full details of Gutiérrez’s 2016/17 Formula E programme will be confirmed in the coming weeks, it was made clear that he will be on the grid for his home event, the Mexico City ePrix on April 1, along with July’s inaugural New York ePrix.
Speaking at today’s announcement in Mexico, Gutierrez was exited to share the news.
“I’m very happy to be here and to finally make the announcement of my future plans,” he said.
“I feel very grateful to Alejandro and Alberto, which we’ve both known each other for a very long time and now we can work together in this new path. I’ve been always watching and following Formula E, because of my relationship with Alejandro. I have always been following his projects and Formula E being one of them. I have been very impressed at how the category has grown, electric cars are the future of mobility in the cities, so it is a very interesting way of how the innovation is being pushed through the category. I’m delighted to now be a part of it.”
Also touching on his history with Gutierrez, Agag welcomed the Mexican to the series.
“I’ve known Esteban since very early on in his career. He’s a great driver, I’ve seen him in GP3, GP2 and Formula 1 obviously,” Agag added.
“He is a great addition to the championship, we are incredibly excited to welcome him and I think for the Mexico race especially, but I think this could be the start of a very long and successful career in Formula E.”
Currently in the middle of an extended holiday break from on-track activities, the FIA Formula E Championship resumes with the Buenos Aires ePrix on February 18.
Image via XPB Images