Sauber picks Gutiérrez and Frijns

The Sauber F1 Team has announced plans to test Mexican Esteban Gutiérrez and Holland’s Robin Frijns in the Young Driver Days in Abu Dhabi on November 6-8. Frijns will do the first day of testing, while Gutiérrez will have his fourth test with the team, driving on the second and third days.

Frijns has had a very promising career to date. He won the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup in 2011 and is in the running for the Formula Renault 3.5 World Series this year, at his first attempt. He will battle for the title this weekend in Barcelona against Jules Bianchi and Sam Bird. Bianchi leads Frijns by five points with Bird 24 points behind the leader. There are, however, 50 points available during the weekend and with the 25-18-15-12 scoring system, the three rivals will all be going for victory.

Gutiérrez has raced in GP2 this year – his second in the series – and finished the season third behind veterans Davide Valsecchi and Luiz Razia.

18 thoughts on “Sauber picks Gutiérrez and Frijns

  1. Robin Frijns looks very impressive. In mine opinion the best young driver i have seen in the junior series this year. I would take Frijns above Guiterez if i was Sauber for next year. But that’s not likely with Guiterez having Telmex behind him and Frijns with any money at all. Maybe a Raikonnen Bernoldi scenario in Abu Dhabi.

  2. Robin Frijns is the most exciting prospect in all junior formula IMHO, and i hope he gets into F1 soon.

    He’s won Euro Formula BMW (beating Jack Harvey British F3 champ this year and Carlos Sainz jr) then Formula Renault Eurocup, all in his first season in the category and could do it again this season in formula renault 3.5.

    With so many young drivers taking 2 seasons in each category to shine, Frijns ability to go in and win immediately is very impressive.

      1. This is a lot easier than Giedo van der Garde. The “Frij” part is pronounced similarly to the German word for “free”: Frei (if that makes sense)

  3. Frijns is a very exciting prospect. Across multiple categories, he’s shown himself to be consistently fast and comes across as an intelligent racer.

    This is also another good opportunity for Gutierrez – I hope he grabs it. While 3rd in the GP2 Series might sound like a good result, he lucked into two victories and spent much of the season delivering some incredibly patchy drives.
    There’s no doubt that he’s quick, but he needs to pull his finger out more often.

    1. All that matters is how they do when they drive for a big team. No point in wasting energy on pie-on-the-sky.

  4. Raikkonen, Massa, Perez, Kobayashi to an extent…. all drivers who started at Sauber. Seem Peter Sauber has the one thing no team can buy, a talent for picking the youngsters.

    Sure beats Red Bull’s programme!

  5. Bit biased here (being Dutch myself) but Frijns is a great prospect. Funny enough nobody pays much attention to him in Holland but that hopefully will change if he gets a shot. He is also studying automotive engineering so he clearly has the right brains and interest besides already proven racing talents. His family own a fairly successful steel related business but not enough to provide him with any serious money to compete with the likes of Guiterez. If he wins his series at first time asking he will be the only one since Robert Kubica did it back in 2005…

  6. Surely, surely they would only take Gutierrez if Hulkenberg’s car development skills are top notch (assuming that deal is in fact done). To ditch a quick and development-minded, but penniless, driver in favour of a raw rookie doesn’t seem sensible unless the rookie brings a truly astonishing pile of dollars with him.

    Is this current focus on marketing-friendly driver nationality a new phenomenon? Di Resta didn’t get the McLaren drive because of sponsorship considerations — now it seems as though Kobayashi may lose his Sauber seat because no-one thinks that the Japanese market is worth bothering with — not least all the Japanese companies who have neglected to back him…

  7. From worldseriesbyrenault.fr:

    “Yet the man of the hour was Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports), who became the first driver to win the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 3.5 Series titles back to back, despite being penalized from Sunday’s race following a collision with championship rival Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing). In reward for his success, the Dutchman will carry out a day’s testing with Red Bull Racing at the Abu Dhabi young drivers’ test in November.”

    So Frijns gets two tests at Abu Dhabi?

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