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Gutierrez ‘definitely not done’ with F1, wants full-time race program

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MONACO – Esteban Gutierrez says he is “definitely not done” with Formula 1 despite making the move into Formula E after losing his seat with Haas at the end of the 2016 season.

Gutierrez raced for Sauber through 2013 and 2014 before stepping back into a reserve role with Ferrari, which ultimately led to a move to the start-up Haas team for 2016 in a race seat.

While teammate Romain Grosjean was able to score a number of points finishes, Gutierrez failed to take a single top-10 result through 21 races for the team, leading to his dismissal at the end of the season.

Gutierrez has since moved into Formula E with the Techeetah team, but the Mexican remains determined to return to F1 in a full-time seat seat in the future.

“Definitely I’m not done [with F1]. I’ve taken this step which to me was very important to do something proper,” Gutierrez told NBC Sports in Monaco.

“I had opportunity to be there as a third driver, but I wanted to focus on a racing program. Step by step, you know achieving the things that I want to achieve.

“I feel confident, I’ve been preparing a lot physically. I made quite a big step on that side, preparing for the races here in Formula E, driving a different car.

“It’s anyway a great experience to have.”

When asked if he’d had a fair shot in F1 yet, Gutierrez said that he had not been able to fully display his talent through his three seasons on the grid.

“I wouldn’t say it was not fair, but it was not really the chance to show my speed,” Gutierrez said.

“I think there are things that happen in life for a reason, and I’m going to keep pushing. I’m very motivated and looking forward to what’s in the future.

“I’m not really thinking about what’s in the past. The past just gives you lessons, whatever the situation was, it’s always good to learn.

“I take that as experience. I think it will be good.”

Outside of F1, Gutierrez admitted that he finds both IndyCar and the FIA World Endurance Championship interesting racing options, but doubts he’ll move into the latter until much later in his career.

“I think both are very interesting. Probably in my case, IndyCar is more attractive. I think WEC is still something I think of as in the future.

“I’m still quite young, so there’s much more to learn and much more to do. So IndyCar is quite attractive. Let’s see what all of the different options are.”

F1: Hamilton leads Mercedes front row lockout in France

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Lewis Hamilton needed to outduel teammate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying for Sunday’s French Grand Prix, after the Finn jumped ahead of the Briton on his final run – Bottas turned in a lap at 1:30.147 to barely get clear of Hamilton.

However, Hamilton ultimately got the last laugh and turned in a 1:30.029 on his final lap, bettering Bottas by just over one tenth of a second, to take the 75th pole of his career.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel qualified third, followed by the Red Bull Racing duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in fourth and fifth. Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen ended up sixth.

Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. qualified seventh, and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc qualified a brilliant eighth as the Frenchman continued a strong rookie campaign in front of his home crowd.

The Haas duo of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean completed the top 10, with Grosjean actually crashing out of Q3 after nosing his VF-18 into a barrier.

Results are below. Of note: the McLaren drivers of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne failed to advance out of Q1 and qualified 16th (Alonso), and 18th (Vandoorne), though Vandoorne will start 17th as Brendon Hartley will start at the back of the grid after Toro Rosso changed several components of the power unit.

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