Esteban Gutiérrez

Full Name: 
Esteban Gutierrez
Birth Date: 
4 August, 1991
Birth Place: 
Driver Status: 
Status Text: 

Esteban Gutiérrez Biography

Even before he joined compatriot Sergio Perez on the F1 grid in 2013, Esteban was being marked out for great things as he raced his way up the single-seater ladder.

Like the majority of his generation, the Mexican cut his teeth in karts, initially winning at local and national level before going on to make occasional forays overseas.

It wasn’t long before he decided that his future lay in cars, however, and, aged just 16, he took on the challenge not only of stepping up from karting, but also racing abroad, as he debuted in the 2007 Formula BMW USA series. Despite his inexperience, he still finished second overall, taking four wins, nine poles and three fastest laps along the way. Although the title eluded him, Gutierrez was named Rookie of the Year and earned a spot at the annual World Finals in Valencia, although an unrepresentative 25th place result belied his undoubted ability.

Figuring he had little more to prove by remaining Stateside, Gutierrez opted to continue in FBMW for a second year, but move to the new and more competitive - European series for 2008. The decision was vindicated as claimed the title by 26 points after taking seven wins, six of which came in a run that effectively broke the resistance of his rivals. The World Final continued to elude him, despite the 2008 event taking place on home soil in Mexico City. Gutierrez qualified on pole, but had to settle for third place in the final, behind future Caterham test driver Alexander Rossi, but still earned a chance to test F1 machinery as the result of European success.

Boosted by his performance, the Mexican jumped straight into F3 the following season, picking the equally combative Euroseries as his introduction to the category. He was gifted enough to have attracted the attention of the crack ART team, although his debut season pitted Gutierrez against future F1 drivers Jules Bianchi and Valtteri Bottas within the French line-up, but ninth in the final standings wasn’t a bad return, even if he failed to make it to the top step of the podium.

Although another year in F3 would have been an option for Gutierrez in 2010, the advent of GP3 attracted ART, and the Mexican followed. Once again, the decision proved to be successful one, as Gutierrez claimed the title at the first attempt, getting some measure of revenge on Rossi, who had joined him in the three-car ART line-up.

Five wins and just one DNF from 16 outings laid the foundations for his success, which was clinched by taking pole at Monza, with two races still to be run. Ironically, that one DNF came in the season finale...

With GP3 conquered, there was really only one way for Gutierrez to go for 2011, and he duly graduated to GP2 within the ART ranks. He had already tested the faster car between his F3 and GP3 campaigns, showing well against more seasoned opposition at Jerez and Paul Ricard. ART confirmed his graduation almost as soon as the GP3 crown had been placed on his head, and Gutierrez began his preparation for 2011 at the Abu Dhabi group test in November of his championship year.

By the time the 2011 season started, ART had been renamed in deference to a new partnership with Lotus and Gutierrez found himself teamed with former F3 colleague Bianchi as the squad tackled both the main and GP2 Asia series campaigns. The Mexican finished eleventh in the latter after a disappointing run of non-scores in what turned out to be a schedule truncated by unrest in Bahrain, and his luck did not appear to change as the summer series kicked off. It wasn’t until the teams reached Valencia in June that Gutierrez finally registered a point, but his season quickly turned around as, starting from the front row, he went on to claim a maiden victory in the second race of the meeting. The Mexican’s fortunes soon turned back, however, and, with just two more points finished, he eventually finished 13th in the championship.

Knowing that a second year in GP2 would be necessary before he could consider moving any further up the ladder, Gutierrez readily signed for another season with Lotus ART, where he would partner British rookie with James Calado. A sterling performance in the sprint portion of the non-championship 2011 season-ending meeting in Abu Dhabi showed what might be possible in 2012, as he came from the depths of the grid to finish fifth including passing four cars on the final lap but wins would still prove hard to come by.

The 2012 season started with three podiums in four races, before a tactical error in Bahrain saw him lose vital ground on pacesetter Davide Valsecchi. Although he kept the points ticking over on the series’ return to Europe, Monaco provided another poor return before Valencia again proved a happy hunting ground, with that elusive victory finally coming in the feature race. After retiring from the Spanish event’s sprint race, Gutierrez bounced back with another win at Silverstone, but again his delight was soured by an incident in Sunday’s sprint.

The wrong strategy cost a third win in Hungary, but Gutierrez turned things around from pole on Sunday to retain third place in the points a position he eventually filled at the end of the year despite a nightmare at Spa and further frustration at Monza ending his title hopes prior to the finale in Singapore.

Following his maiden F1 test in late 2009, Gutierrez had been retained by the Sauber team and was eventually named as its official test driver in September the following year, taking his place in the season-ending ‘young driver’ test in Abu Dhabi, where he lapped just six-tenths off the qualifying pace set by Sauber team-mate Kamui Kobayashi the previous weekend.

Despite missing out on a possible 2011 race debut when compatriot Perez failed to recover from the effects of his Monaco shunt Pedro de la Rosa took the seat for the Canadian GP as the Mexican was, for once, not in attendance - Gutierrez remained as test and reserve driver for the team for 2012, building up his mileage, initially, in the annual ‘young driver’ tests, before finally getting the opportunity to compare himself to future rivals in an official practice session, as he filled in for an ‘unwell’ Perez at the Indian Grand Prix.

With the ‘other’ Mexican having already announced that he would be leaving Sauber for McLaren in 2013, Gutierrez’s name was always high on the list of potential replacements thanks largely to the team’s reliance on backing from Mexican companies - but confirmation that he would finally graduate to a full-time drive to not come until after Nico Hulkenberg had been announced as Sauber’s new number one.

It wasn't a smooth rookie season as Gutierrez was comfortably outpaced by Hulkenberg early on. His first points didn't come until the Japanese Grand Prix when he finished an impressive seventh, but they were his only six points of the year. The car was capable of more as Hulkenberg showed by scoring 51 points including a brilliant fourth in Korea, and so Gutierrez was made to sweat over his future with the team. However, with Hulkenberg leaving and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin far from ready, Gutierrez was retained for a second season.

The 2014 season started with a 12th place finish at the opening race in Australia, just behind his new and experienced teammate Adrian Sutil. In Bahrain, Gutierrez was involved in an accident with Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado. The pair collided with each other at Turn 1, resulting in the Mexican's Sauber rolling and ending his race. He escaped uninjured, with the Venezuelan driver rewarded with a five-place grid penalty for the next race in China.

With the Sauber struggling to find pace and to score points, Gutierrez failed to find any points over the course of the 2014 season. Alongside Caterham, Sauber were among two teams who failed to score over the calendar year, whilst Marussia scored two points at Monaco to place them ahead of both teams. Gutierrez was relieved of his duties at Sauber and left the team after 2014, replaced by Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr. He failed to secure a drive but joined Ferrari as their Test Driver for the season.

After a year on the sidelines, Gutierrez found himself back behind a racing seat with the new Haas F1 Team, as he was confirmed as their second driver for the 2016 season alongside Romain Grosjean. In his first race back, the Mexican was involved in an crazy accident when Fernando Alonso crash into the back of the Haas, causing the McLaren to flip wildly into the air. Both drivers escaped serious injury in the accident and no fault was to blame on either driver.

Gutierrez started the following race in Bahrain in 13th but soon climbed up to eighth place on the first lap. But a brake failure halted any chance of scoring points. In Russia he was involved in a first corner incident with Nico Hulkenberg, causing a chain reaction of cars hitting each other towards the back end of the grid. A points finish came close for the Mexican when he finished 11th in Spain and Monaco, a theme for Gutierrez that occurred over the course of the season.

A fued with Lewis Hamilton occurred at the Hungarian Grand Prix when the Mexican ignored blue flags and failed to let Hamilton through. He found that Hamilton's actions were unacceptable and said he should respect every driver on track. Daniel Ricciardo followed Hamilton's complaints at the following race in Germany.

At the Belgium Grand Prix, Gutierrez found himself within the top ten by lap eight. However, after Magnussen's crash at the top of Eau Rouge, the Mexican pitted and was stacked behind his teammate Grosjean, when the red flag came out he lost out on the top ten. Further finishes outside of the top ten continued with another eleventh place in Singapore, narrowly missing out on the points. Mechanical failures in Malaysia, United States and Brazil ruined his chance of clinching points, even clashing with team boss Gunther Steiner in the garage. Gutierrez ended the 2016 season in Abu Dhabi with an 12th place finish, ending the year with no points and losing his seat to Kevin Magnussen. His stint in F1 was over.

For 2017, Gutierrez turned his attention to Formula E, signing a contract with Techeetah for a selected amount of races. He replaced Ma Qing Hua after three races of the 2016/17 season. His first race was at the Mexican E-Prix where he finished in the points in tenth place. A better result came in Monaco with eighth place finish. His third and final race ended with 11th place in Paris.

He soon left Formula E to focus on IndyCar, replacing the injured Sebastien Bourdais at Dale Coyne Racing. He contested in seven races, with the best result coming at the Iowa Corn 300, finishing in 13th overall. He currently has no drive within a racing series as of 2018.