He may not be racing in Formula 1 this season, but Esteban Gutierrez is enjoying life with Scuderia Ferrari in his role as third driver.
After two years with Sauber, Gutierrez opted not to push for a new contract for the team in 2015 and instead secured a place in the Ferrari support team, working under Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
Speaking following the launch of the new car, Gutierrez admitted that he felt emotional to be a member of the Ferrari team and is preparing himself as a back-up to the full-time drivers.
“I have to say it’s been such a great experience to be here these weeks, working very closely with the team,” Gutierrez said. “To wear the red colors puts a very special emotional status, a different level of emotions which obviously pushes you to do great things around here.
“I will be following all races and all the pre-season testing. My role at the moment is as a third driver, and I’m very responsible to be ready in case of any circumstances that can come up. That’s at the moment my main focus, so I’m preparing myself physically.
“Also the integration with the team is something very important to have; to get to know how the team works, what’s the mentality, the different technical aspects of the car in order to understand the whole picture and be as prepared as possible.”
Despite not racing in 2015, Gutierrez is excited for the return of the Mexican Grand Prix, with the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez welcoming F1 for the first time in 23 years this November.
“For Mexico, it’s some of the best news we’ve had so far in recent years in motorsport,” he said. “This means the interest in F1 is increasing, and that obviously brings a very nice motivation to me as a driver to represent something very big and hopefully in the future to take part in the grand prix and to have great success there.”