Gutierrez learned ‘a lot of lessons’ from Vettel, Raikkonen at Ferrari

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Esteban Gutierrez may have spent the majority of 2015 outside of a racing car as Ferrari’s reserve driver, but the Mexican driver learned plenty while working under world champions Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen ahead of his full-time return to Formula 1 in 2016.

Gutierrez walked away from Sauber at the end of 2014 following two full seasons in F1 that yielded just six points following a solitary seventh-place finish at the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix.

The Mexican driver spent the next year with Ferrari in a reserve role, but will return to the grid in 2016 after joining the new Haas F1 Team for its debut season.

Speaking to reporters during his first visit to Haas’ main base in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Gutierrez spoke about his time with Ferrari and said that he learned plenty while working with Vettel and Raikkonen.

When asked how much he spoke with Vettel and Raikkonen, Gutierrez said: “A lot.

“I don’t think that any driver will give you direct advice, because obviously at some point, you become a competitor.

“But it’s true, first to be in the position of a third driver with Ferrari with two world champions like Sebastian and Kimi, and also for them to open the doors for me to have the access to the information, and to have conversations together about the car – the feelings, their opinion – it has given me a lot of perspective. A lot of lessons.

“Because obviously, I was there sitting and had time to observe, to look and to take all the positives from each of them and use that for my experience.”

Despite not being a core part of the Ferrari setup in 2016, Gutierrez still enjoys a good relationship with the Italian marque and is sure he has a successful future at Maranello.

“Yes, I still have good relationships with the teams I’ve raced for, especially with Ferrari,” Gutierrez said.

“We had a fantastic year last season, and we developed a very good relationship together. We’ll be working together through the engines and gearbox.

“So that’s something that makes it very special that I can continue that relationship through a team that I have a big belief, and we have good years ahead.”

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.