This page will be updated throughout the day.
Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.
You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly
Esteban Gutierrez retained
The news that many Mexican fans will be delighted to hear is that Esteban Gutierrez will be continuing in Formula One next year. He was confirmed in the small hours of the UK to continue next year at Sauber, partnering Adrian Sutil at the Swiss team.
The confirmation comes after the team announced another extension with Mexican telecommunications company, Telmex. The business which has a dominant market share in its native homeland Mexico, is reportedly still looking to break into the European markets.
“I am happy to be able to continue as a driver for the Sauber F1 Team,” the 22 year old from Monterrey said. “It was a steep learning curve last season, but by working closely with the team I was able to improve continuously. It will be my fourth year with the team, the second as a racing driver, and I feel comfortable in taking the next step.”
With the array of regulation changes for 2014, maintaining at least 1 of the 2013 pairing has been seen as important, as proven by Toro Rosso. This coupled with the 6 points he picked up at the Japanese Grand Prix meant he had given sufficient reason for the team to retain his services.
Gutierrez cited this, as he continued, “The technical challenges in 2014 will be massive. Therefore it will be even more important to know well the people you are working with. I will do my very best to improve even more and support the team the best way I can.”
The news of Gutierrez’s confirmation quashes the rumours that Vitaly Petrov would be drafted in to the Hinwill based team, to keep their Russian backers happy.
This completes the team line-ups for all of the established teams, with just 1 seat at Marussia and both at Caterham still to be confirmed. Giedo van der Garde looks fairly well placed to take one of the 2014 Caterham drives due to his McGregor backing.
If AON continue to cough up the money to fund Max Chilton, he will also be in a strong position to remain on the grid for next year. The competition for race seats next year is hotting up!
Sergey Sirotkin gets test drive
The news above regarding Gutierrez will be a relief to many who would still have had visions of a certain young Russian lining up on the grid and being thrown in at the ‘deep end’ for 2014. As TJ13 has stated for weeks, since the announcement of Daniil Kvyat, a race seat for Sirotkin at Sauber has looked unlikely.
The Formula Renault 3.5 driver will take up a test role with the team, and presumably be given FP1 duties at various races throughout the year – most notably in Sochi. Having only manage 9th in this years Renault 3.5 Championship, being put into a race seat would have, in truth, been madness.
This move will allow the 18 year old to gain some experience next year and be eased into the sport instead.
In a statement he said, “It’s a big chance for me to become the test driver for the Sauber F1 Team. I will work hard to improve myself and to extract the maximum out of this opportunity. Formula One is very complex, so it is important to get an opportunity like this.
“My main focus next year, however, will be the World Series by Renault, which is very competitive. This will give me the chance to prepare even better in order to be ready for the next big step.”
So that’s one less crash kid to worry about next year. Sauber’s insurance company, Interproteccion, will be relieved by the news that a driver with more experience will be at the wheel next year. Ironically, their world headquarters are in Mexico! The team and insurance brokers have been partnered since January 2011, when Sergio Perez joined the team.
Red Bull restructure
With personnel exiting the Red Bull Racing setup seemingly at will some restructuring of the team was needed. Mark Ellis, who has moved to Mercedes and will start there in June 2014, will be replaced by Pierre Wache. The ex- Sauber man will become the team’s new head of vehicle dynamics. This news follows Giles Wood’s departure as well.
In a statement on the Milton Keynes team’s website they said, “Pierre joined the team from Sauber in June and is now well positioned to take on this new role. The team would like to thank Mark Ellis and Giles Wood for their contribution and wish them well for the future.”
First signs of the wheels coming off at Milton Keynes as staff seek a new challenge?