Tag Archives: Esteban Gutierrez

How’s he doing? Esteban Gutierrez

4 May

We’re four races in to F1 2013 so lets see how the new drivers have been getting on.

Remind me how did you rate him before the start of the season?

I rated Esteban highly (7.5/10) despite the large amount of money that he brings to Sauber. This high rating was given because of his strong performances at every level he’d driven in pre F1.

And how’s he got on so far?

Dismally, he’s been well and truly out performed by team mate Hulkenburg and has been knocked out of qualifying in Q1 three times out of four, and at the Chinese GP he ran heavily into the back of Adrian Sutil which saw Esteban receive a 5 place grid penalty.

How does that compare to his team mate?

Whilst Esteban has struggled to make it out of Q1 team mate Hulkenburg has comfortably made it to Q2 every week and in China made it through to Q3. Hulkenburg has also picked up points (unlike Gutierrez) and has performed well, at times competing with those drivers at the front.

Sauber’s car for this season does not appear to be as good as last year’s car, this one is already losing out to Force India, but it may be that Sauber have already started work on the 2014 car which would explain why they haven’t performed so strongly this season.

How would you rate his performances so far?

3/10 So far the least impressive of the rookies.

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Alonso wins in China by a country mile

14 Apr

Good Day, Bad Day, China 13.

Good Day:

Fernando Alonso: S3 F1 10/10 – Alonso was far and away the best driver on track today, he overtook, managed the tyres and set blistering pace to ultimately win the race by a fantastic 10 seconds. It started well for Alonso overtaking Raikkonen off the line and it just got better, his corner of choice for overtaking was T1 where he overtook: Hamilton, Vettel (twice) and Button. Alonso only just missed out on the championship last season but he’s back with a vengeance this season.

Sebastian Vettel: S9 F4 9/10 – Vettel was killed by his strategy this weekend otherwise he could have challenged Vettel to the victory. Vettel didn’t set a lap in Q3 yesterday (this is because Red Bull didn’t have the 1 lap pace to challenge Ferrari/Lotus/Mercedes for pole) and after being overtaken by Hulkenburg early on he had to spend multiple laps being held up by around 0.5 seconds a lap. But when Vettel did his stint on the soft tyres he set the timing boards alight and missed out on a podium place by less than a second.

Jenson Button: S8 F5 8/10 – McLaren’s problems aren’t solved yet but Button showed today that the team are on their way to getting themselves on par with the competition. Button did a successful 2 stop strategy showing the McLaren is at least light on it’s tyres. Yesterday  Button admitted that McLaren are still around 0.7s off the pace but if they carry on improving and bringing upgrades to the car they could (potentially) be on the pace by Spain.

Daniel Ricciardo: S7 F7 8/10 – Daniel hadn’t finished a race this season prior to today and immediately started his points tally with 6 points. Ricciardo had a uneventful race, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t drive very well, his lap times were always strong and unlike the last time he started in the top 10 he didn’t botch up the start.

Nico Hulkenburg: S10 F10 7/10 – Many (me included) see it as a travesty that Hulkenburg isn’t driving for one of the top 5 teams this season, but Nico isn’t letting that stop him, he was great today, he overtook Vettel early on in the race and then he led the race for a few laps and put in a good performance holding up Vettel who had a fastest car and the use of DRS.

Jules Bianchi: S18 F15 8/10 – What a driver Bianchi is, so far he has impressed in all of his 3 races and looks like he is capable of taking the Marussia far and beyond it’s potential, fighting with Williams during the race. Bianchi will be looking for a seat with a big team at the end of this season, and if he carries this on he could have a long line of teams desperate to sign up the young Frenchman.

Bad Day:

Caterham: 5/10 – This must be the nail in the coffin for Caterham, three times in a row they’ve been outperformed by Marussia and every weekend the gaps been getting bigger. Will Caterham ever catch up to the midfield?

Max Chilton: S19 F17 5/10 – Chilton hasn’t fulfilled the hype set out for him by the British press before his F1 debut and to be honest I doubt he ever will, for the third race in  a row he’s been thoroughly out performed by team mate Bianchi and although many will sight the difference as being due to Bianchi’s previous experience in Formula 1, it is down to more than that. The main difference being that Bianchi has genuine talent and potential.

Mark Webber: S24 F ret. 3/10 – There are some days where nothing goes right for you, today was one of those days for Webber. After the disaster yesterday where the car stopped due to a fuel pressure problem in Q2 Mark will have thought it couldn’t get much worse, it did. Webber started strongly, his pit stop on lap 1 looked an inspired decision when he was setting the early pace and he was competing with the guys who started at the front, until, he hit Vergne (an incident that has got him a 3 place grid penalty for Bahrain). This was followed by a pit stop to change the front nose, during which the rear right tyre was attached properly, it came loose on his lap out and when he made it to the hairpin at the end of the long straight the tyre and the car left each other. To sum up his day in 1 word, disaster.

Adrian Sutil: S13 F ret. 6/10 – After starting his reborn career well today was a day for Sutil to forget, he made contact with his team mate on the first lap 1 but his race ended on lap 5 when Gutierrez hit his back.

Esteban Gutierrez: S17 F ret. 5/10 – Esteban hasn’t started the season as well as I expected him too, he’s had a disaster so far this season and it didn’t help him when he takes out another driver on lap 5 because he didn’t know where to break.

It’s magic for Mercedes as Hamilton is on pole

13 Apr

3 winners and losers of qualifying, China 13.

Winners:

Lewis Hamilton 10/10 Q1 – Before this season many said that Hamilton would struggle with Mercedes and how wrong we’ve all be proved. Hamilton set blistering pace throughout all of qualifying going fastest in all 3 sessions and ultimately going fastest in Q3 by 0.3 seconds.

Marussia 9/10 Q19 and Q20 – Marussia have created a fantastic car for this season and with Bianchi at the wheel should make it into Q2 by the end of the season and may pick up points. Today both cars out-qualified the two Caterhams showing just how far Marussia have come since last season.

Daniel Ricciardo 9/10 Q7 – This is Daniel’s first time into Q3 since Bahrain last year and over the last 3 races has improved his qualifying position every time, showing just how much form he’s on at the moment. Despite this he does have two problems, first he hasn’t finished a race so far this season and second last time he started in the top 10 he had a dreadful start. Lets hope it works this time.

Losers:

Mark Webber 6/10 Q14 – Webber was unlucky today suffering a fuel pressure problem which left him stuck on an exit road watching others beat his time. Webber will need a good start tomorrow (a rarity for Webber) if he’s to finish in the good points. Since writing this Webber has been relegated to the back of the grid for failing to provide a 1l fuel sample leaving his chances of a good finish almost impossible.

Esteban Gutierrez 5/10 Q18 – Whilst team mate Hulkenburg made it to Q3 Gutierrez was out in Q1. Esteban hasn’t started this season as well as I expected him to, but since his race pace is better than his 1 lap pace he could prove to be a worthy driver by the end of the season.

Sebastian Vettel 7/10 Q9 – Red Bull haven’t had the one lap pace to challenge Mercedes/Lotus/Ferrari to the pole all weekend so they have opted for a different strategy where they start on the harder tyre which will be the preferred tyre in tomorrow’s race, this explains why he’s so far back, but with Button on the same strategy and 1 place ahead on the grid he could have his work cut out if he wants to win tomorrow.

Prediction:

I envisage the top 6 will all have to pit early on (within the first 10 laps) tomorrow so the key question is wether they’ll be able to pull far enough ahead. They will come out behind Vettel and JB, but if the top 6 can get themselves on Button and Vettel’s tails they should win easily. Of the top 6 I’d say it’s a contest between Hamilton, Alonso and Raikkonen for first place with Massa, Rosberg and Grosjean looking to pick up a podium. So I’ll go out on a limb and say it will finish: 1 Hamilton 2 Alonso 3 Raikkonen.

New kid on the block: Esteban Gutierrez

5 Feb

So give us the basics?

Esteban Gutierrez is a Mexican driver and will racing for Sauber in Formula 1 next season. Esteban is only 21 years old and at the age of 17 became the youngest Mexican driver to win an International competition having won the Formula BMW European Championship.

So how did he start?

Esteban started in karting before progressing to the American Formula BMW championship in 2007 where in his debut season he finished second, setting the foundations for a move to the European version which he won in 2008. Having won the European Formula BMW Esteban progressed to Formula 3, and although he didn’t win a race he did do enough to get a seat in the inaugural GP3 season, during which Gutierrez won 5/16 races to be crowned the champion. He then took the logical step to move into GP2, and surprisingly made the step up quite comfortably winning a race in his rookie season before putting in a fantastic performance the following year to finish 3rd in the championship after 7 podiums.

Has he had much F1 car experience?

Compared to rookies in recent years he’s had loads, his first F1 test was back in 2009 with Sauber (then BMW Sauber) s reward for winning the European Formula BMW, and the following year he took part in young driver’s test at Abu Dhabi also driving for Sauber. Surprisingly Guitierrez almost made his debut in the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix after countryman Sergio Perez was injured at the previous race, but since Esteban was in Mexico at the time De La Rosa was chosen instead. At the end of 2011 Guitierrez was chosen to drive in the Young Driver’s test in Abu Dhabi again, and in 2012 he did the young driver’s test and a friday practice session (Perez was unwell).

So he’s pretty experienced. Is he a pay driver?

There is considerable financial backing behind Gutierrez, since he is part of Escuderia Telmex a scheme set up by Telmex owner and the world’s richest man Carlos Slim, but to say Esteban’s only there because of money isn’t true, he does clearly have talent.

So how do you expect him to do this season.

Very well, he should provide a worthy challenge for Nico Hulkenburg even though I do expect him to lose the inter-team battle at the end of the season. After this season he should have done well enough to merit another season with Sauber and in a couple of years time he could find himself in a similar position to what Sergio Perez is currently in.

What’s his rating?

7.5/10 he has real potential and you never know in a few years time he could be competing for race victories.