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Gutierrez makes his point in F1

2013-10-14 12:14

MAKING HIS MARK IN F1: Esteban Gutierrez (finally) makes his mark in Formula 1 by scoring his first points in Japan. What’s more, he did so on team founder Peter Sauber's 70th birthday! Image: AP

ALAN BALDWN

SUZUKA, Japan- Rookie Esteban Gutierrez (22) was a talent waiting to explode and the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix vindicated Sauber's faith in him as the rookie scored his first points in Formula 1, reported team principal Monisha Kaltenborn.

The first rookie to appear on the score sheets in 2013, on his 15th attempt, Gutierrez made his breakthrough earning seventh place and six points at Suzuka. To make it even more special, he achieved his points onn team founder Peter Sauber's 70th birthday.

‘HAD A ROUGH SEASON’


Kaltenborn said: "It is such a big relief because we've been seeing how he has been improving over the last few races and he's had a really rough start into the season. It just takes that little bit more to let something explode or just open up in him and that's what's happened now."

Gutierrez was handed his opportunity after compatriot Sergio Perez left Sauber for McLaren at the end of 2012 and many saw his promotion as more of a reflection of the team's desire to retain key Mexican sponsors.

His performances earlier in 2013 were ragged, qualifying difficult and team mate Nico Hulkenberg proved to be in a different league.

His future at the team remains uncertain though in Japan, the rookie qualified 14th and then moved steadily through the field.

ROOKIE RISK


Kaltenborn said: "I think it's very important for him because he has been criticised quite a lot. When we took him up, we were convinced and we still are that he is a very talented driver. When you have a rookie you always have a certain risk and it was no different with him.

"We knew he would make mistakes and it was quite a lot at the beginning but that's all part of growing into F1."

Gutierrez out-qualified Hulkenberg for the first time at the 2013 Singapore GP, when he also made his first appearance in the final phase of qualifying. He failed to convert that into points but made no mistake in Japan.

Gutierrez said: "Finally I can feel great satisfaction."
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Read more on:    sauber  |  esteban gutierrez  |  japan  |  motorsport  |  racing  |  f1

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