Esteban Gutierrez has said that he is eyeing a long-term plan to move out of the Formula 1 midfield and secure a place at the very top of the sport.
The Sauber driver has endured a difficult two-year spell since making his F1 debut at the beginning of the 2013 season, but will leave the team at the end of 2014 to make way for Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.
Speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton after qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix today, Gutierrez said that he took a risk with his future in recent weeks, but feels that it was the right one to take.
“I’m fighting all the way,” Gutierrez said. “The last few weeks, we’ve made very risky decisions which obviously put us in a very risk position in my career.
“But I think, considering the circumstances, it was probably the right one. I put everything in God’s hands because at the moment, as you can see, there are not many seats left.
“But I think somehow, for the long-term, it will come out very good. I’m looking for the top in Formula 1 and not to stay in the mid-teams.”
Gutierrez could be in line to take up a reserve driver role at one of the bigger teams in F1, bringing in sponsorship from Carlos Slim’s telecommunications company Telmex.
Some of Gutierrez’s representatives have been spotted talking with Lotus personnel across the course of the race weekend, but for the time being, his future remains unclear.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.