Esteban Gutierrez seeks qualifying progress after improved display in Barcelona

Mexican driver yet to out-qualify his Sauber team-mate

By James Galloway in Monaco and Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 23/05/13 11:59am

  • Share:
Gutierrez is still yet to score a point in his rookie season

Gutierrez is still yet to score a point in his rookie season

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Esteban Gutierrez says he is hopeful of building on his improved performance in Barcelona as he prepares to make his first F1 appearance at Monaco.

Gutierrez's maiden season in the sport has, it's fair to say, been a difficult affair so far. Yet to score a point, the 21-year-old has been out-qualified by team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in every event.

Despite setting the fastest lap in the Spanish Grand Prix - a race he actually led at one stage - Gutierrez is the first to admit he has been embarking on a steep learning curve during his rookie campaign.

"It was quite surprising to have this detail [the fastest lap and lead of the race] in just my fifth race as a Formula 1 driver, but, at the same time, as a driver it's been important to understand what are the limits of the tyres and to be consistent during this window. Then you have to take advantage of all this - and this is what we did in Barcelona," the Sauber driver reflected.

"The most important thing [here] is to keep the same rhythm. It is my first time in Monaco as a Formula 1 driver and I'll need to take things very progressively and then try to get the most out of our potential."

But while Gutierrez is set for his F1 debut at Monaco this weekend, he is already familiar with the track from his career in GP2.

"The most important thing is to feel confident with the car and the situation, but it is a track I enjoy," he said. "It will be quite an adventure now that I have DRS and KERS and it will be a little more challenging. At the same time, it will be more interesting too. I will just try to get the most out of everything."

Qualifying has been a particular challenge for Gutierrez so far this season, with the Mexican yet to enjoy the upper hand over his more experienced team-mate on a Saturday.

"Of course it is a challenge to put a perfect lap together. I think it is a matter of confidence, which is something which will come in time, but it's an area I can improve and where I want to improve and in the next few races I will work on that to close the gap," he said.

Easier said than done, however, especially when the close confines of the Monaco lay-out offer no margin for error.

"It's important to have a clean weekend and not to over-push the limits," acknowledged Gutierrez. "[In Barcelona,] Nico put in a very good lap, I have to say, and from my side it's a matter of finding a little bit more and more and more on each run. I felt better throughout the weekend generally and on average the gap was closer than in previous races."

The 2013 Monaco Grand Prix this weekend is live only on Sky Sports F1. Don't miss out, upgrade or subscribe to Sky Sports today

  • Share:

Related

Monaco GP 2013

Felipe Massa: Crashed heavily in the Monaco GP

Ferrari explain Massa crash

Ferrari have confirmed that suspension failure was the cause of Felipe Massa's accident during the Monaco Grand Prix.

Martin Brundle reports from trackside during P2 as Nico Rosberg goes past

Brundle: What a crazy finale

A slow burner of a race but our patience was rewarded with some crazy racing, broken carbon fibre and dented barriers.

Kimi Raikkonen: Thoroughly unimpressed with Sergio Perez

Raikkonen lets rip at Perez

Kimi Raikkonen says Sergio Perez has "no idea" what he's talking about and should be "hit in the face" for Monaco clash.

Poll

Most Popular

Features

Formula 1 in 2015

Formula 1 in 2015

Your essential one-stop guide to the driver line-ups, testing and race schedules for next season.

The best of Button

The best of Button

With McLaren confirming Jenson Button will stay on for 2015, we look back at the high points of his F1 career

What went wrong?

What went wrong?

A look back Fernando Alonso's first stint at McLaren that ended after just one feisty season.