November 22, 2012
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Sauber driver Sergio Perez has jumped the gun on his team’s driver announcement for 2013 this weekend, and let slip that Esteban Gutierrez is set to be signed for the team for next year.
Before this weekend, Sauber had confirmed that they would make their driver announcement after the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.
However, in the driver’s press conference today, Perez noted that “the team have a good experienced driver in Nico [Hulkenberg] and he will have a strong team-mate in Esteban [Gutierrez].”
He then stated: “we are waiting for the announcement”.
Gutierrez has already driven for Sauber this year, taking the place of Perez in Friday practice in India. He has previously won GP3 and Formula BMW Europe championships, and took 3rd this year in the GP2 series with ART.
November 17, 2011
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Vergne topped the timesheets every day
Jean-Eric Vergne has topped the third and final young driver test in Abu Dhabi, similar to Daniel Ricciardo last year.
The Frenchman was only 4 tenths of a second slower than Sebastian Vettel’s pole position time here last week. He led Sam Bird and Jules Bianchi by well over 2 seconds.
Bird tested 2012-spec exhausts for Mercedes, which do not feature any off-throttle blowing of the diffuser like this year.
Oliver Turvey drove the McLaren all day, replacing Gary Paffett from yesterday. Max Chilton was 5th, ahead of Esteban Gutierrez and Mirko Bortolotti, who was testing for Williams.
Kevin Ceccon was 8th for Toro Rosso, ahead of Alexander Rossi for Lotus. Jan Charouz drove a Renault today, taking 10th, while Stefano Coletti was ahead of Nathanael Berthon. Virgin again split their running between Robert Wickens and Charles Pic, with both drivers finishing at the back.
Teams ran using a mixture of 2011 and 2012 Pirelli tyres on a variety of fuel loads.
Times from day 3:
1. Jean-Eric Vergne Red Bull-Renault 1:38.917
2. Sam Bird Mercedes GP 1:40.897
3. Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1:41.347
4. Olivier Turvey McLaren-Mercedes 1:41.513
5. Max Chilton Force India-Mercedes 1:41.575
6. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:42.049
7. Mirko Bortolotti Williams-Cosworth 1:43.277
8. Kevin Ceccon Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:43.686
9. Alexander Rossi Lotus-Renault 1:44.283
10. Jan Charouz Renault 1:44.470
11. Stefano Coletti Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:44.545
12. Nathanael Berthon HRT-Cosworth 1:45.839
13. Robert Wickens Virgin-Cosworth 1:45.934
14. Charles Pic Virgin-Cosworth 1:46.348
November 16, 2011
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Vergne finished day 2 on top again
Jean-Eric Vergne again headed the timesheets for the young driver test in Abu Dhabi.
A time of 1:40.188 in the morning was enough to secure the Frenchman top spot, despite sensor and KERS issues in the afternoon.
Ferrari test driver Jules Bianchi was again 2nd, but this time was only 0.091 seconds behind the Red Bull. Gary Paffett drove the McLaren for the entire day, and was 3rd, albeit 1.5 seconds slower than Vergne. He caused the only red flag of the day, when his McLaren spilled oil on the track.
Valterri Bottas was 4th for Williams, ahead of newest F1 debutant Johnny Cecotto Junior, driving for Force India. Sauber reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez was 6th.
Sam Bird was 7th for Mercedes, ahead of newcomer Kevin Korjus, driving for Renault. Luiz Razia was 9th for Lotus, with Kevin Ceccon 10th for Toro Rosso.
HRT split their running between Jan Charouz and Nathanael Berthon, who finished 11th and 13th respectively – Berthon only driving for the final half hour. Virgin shoe-in Charles Pic was 12th.
Times from day 2:
1. Jean-Eric Vergne Red Bull-Renault 1:40.188
2. Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1:40.279 0.091
3. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1:41.756 1.568
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Cosworth 1:42.367 2.179
5. Johnny Cecotto Jr Force India-Mercedes 1:42.873 2.685
6. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:43.637 3.449
7. Sam Bird Mercedes GP 1:43.734 3.546
8. Kevin Korjus Renault 1:43.776 3.588
9. Luiz Razia Lotus-Renault 1:43.944 3.756
10. Kevin Ceccon Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:44.808 4.620
11. Jan Charouz HRT-Cosworth 1:46.644 6.456
12. Charles Pic Virgin-Cosworth 1:46.698 6.510
13. Nathanael Berthon HRT-Cosworth 1:48.646 8.458