Honda F1 website

NOVEMBER 23, 2012

Sauber confirms Gutierrez

Sauber has confirmed F1's worst-kept secret, that 21-year-old Mexican Esteban Gutierrez will replace Sergio Perez in the team alongside new signing Nico Hulkenberg in 2013. Dutchman Robin Frijns has also been signed as test and reserve driver. Kamui Kobayashi's F1 future therefore hangs in the balance.

Gutierrez is part of Sauber sponsor Telmex's driver support programme and was Formula BMW Europe champion in 2008 and GP3 champion in 2010.

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said: "Esteban has great talent and now he's ready to take the leap. We are in no doubt that we have a strong driver pairing in place for the 2013 season."

Gutierrez added: "This is the start of the real challenge to succeed at the pinnacle of motorsport. Nico Hulkenberg will be a good reference point for me and will push me to adapt quickly to F1 competition so we can develop the car together."

Frijns, meanwhile, tested for both Sauber and Red Bull at the recent Abu Dhabi Young Driver test and did a strong job. We won the Formula BMW Europe title in 2010, the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2011 and the Formule Renault 3.5 series this year.