Esteban Gutierrez says outdoing Sauber predecessor Sergio Perez is not his focus

F1 debutant also pleased to have Hulkenberg as team-mate

By James Galloway.   Last Updated: 14/02/13 11:37am

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Mexican rookie Esteban Gutierrez says any comparisons with his countryman and Sauber predecessor Sergio Perez will not be something he focuses on during his debut season of Formula 1.

The 21-year-old is effectively following in the footsteps of Perez at Sauber this year, the now McLaren driver having made his own F1 debut with the Swiss team at the same age two years ago.

In addition to sharing the same nationality, Gutierrez, like Perez in 2011, arrives in F1 on the back of race-winning exploits in the GP2 Series and is also supported by his country's Telmex telecommunications group.

F1 on Sky Sports in 2013

Sky Sports F1 is the only place to watch every grand prix live in 2013.

Our dedicated F1 channel will broadcast every race, qualifying and practice session live, along with highlights shows, analysis and even more coverage via the Red Button.

Find out more at sky.com

But asked if the inevitability of comparisons with Perez's time at Sauber during the course of 2013 placed any additional pressure on him, the 21-year-old replied: "That's what a lot of many people may be saying around, but my focus is not that.

"My focus is to work on myself, to focus on the most important things and not to waste time only by beating one of the drivers.

"We all know that we are 22 drivers in Formula 1 and we don't need to waste the time only by competing [against] two of us. The fact that we are both Mexicans, it's a characteristic, we have to respect each other the same as we have to respect the other drivers. It's competitive."

While Perez partnered the more experienced Kamui Kobayashi in his two years at Sauber, Gutierrez will race alongside the highly-regarded Nico Hulkenberg in the new season, the German having moved from Force India over the winter.

Gutierrez admits he is delighted to have a driver of Hulkenberg's experience to learn from.

"For me it's a great reference," he said.

"He has three years of experience, two as a driver and one as a test driver, and also his level of communication to the team is very high.

"So for me it's important at the beginning to have a good reference and I feel very grateful to be in this position and then to create a good base to progress to[wards] my potential."

And having plotted a similar path through the junior formulae, the Sauber rookie added: "He's very open to work as a team and we have a good communication between both so far. So the approach of work that we have is also very similar. He was also racing with Kauffman, and also ART, the same as I did, so generally the mentality in some parts is similar."

  • Share:

Related

Here comes 2013!

Alonso and Vettel in the dark

Title rivals Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel have predicted an even closer contest at the front of the grid in 2013

The Sky F1 team

Sky F1's 2013 predictions

Martin Brundle, Damon Hill, Simon Lazenby, Natalie Pinkham and David Croft look into a fascinating future...

F1 2013: Bursts into life at Albert Park on March 15

What's new in F1 2013?

The sport's technical regulations may have altered little over the winter but plenty else has ahead of the new season.

Most Popular

Features

Bianchi crash panel

Bianchi crash panel

FIA reveal Ross Brawn and Stefano Domenicali part of Accident Panel to look into Jules Bianchi's crash.

Driver coaching

Driver coaching

Our reporter's motorsport journey continues with coaching from 2012 BTCC champion Gordon Shedden.

Exclusive Vergne Q&A

Exclusive Vergne Q&A

Jean-Eric on Red Bull's Young Driver Programme, his F1 future, Ricciardo's promotion and more.