Gutierrez surprised Hulkenberg passed over by F1 elite

Gutierrez surprised Hulkenberg passed over by F1 elite

Formula 1

Gutierrez surprised Hulkenberg passed over by F1 elite

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Esteban Gutierrez says he is surprised his 2013 Sauber teammate Nico Hulkenberg was not picked up by a top Formula 1 squad.

The highly rated Hulkenberg has now agreed to return to Force India for the 2014 F1 season, having been passed over by proven championship squads Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and Lotus when they had vacancies to fill.

“He is really doing well. He is a very good driver, one of the best qualifiers and it was surprising to see him struggling to get a seat,” Gutierrez said of Hulkenberg. “But there is always a reason behind it.

“It’s hard to define what is the reason; you have to be very complete in many ways, you have to be strong in performance and in every way. In Formula 1 you have to consider many aspects that probably many people won’t consider.”

SEASON WITH HULKENBERG BENEFICIAL

Gutierrez reckoned having Hulkenberg as a teammate for his rookie year was extremely beneficial.

“He was a really good reference and on some occasions I’ve been close to him and also sometimes in front,” said the Mexican.

“Knowing that he’s a very strong driver is something that gives me a lot for my confidence and helps me a lot to develop myself. It helps me to work a lot and I have many skills this season that I did not have before, because it has been very competitive with my teammate.

“It has been a challenge to look for more lap time, more complexity and understanding different things. If it had been a different case [teammate] maybe I would not have found it.”

Gutierrez has yet to secure a seat for 2014, but reportedly visited Caterham last week.

Current 2014 F1 driver lineup:

Red Bull-Renault      Sebastian Vettel  Daniel RicciardoMercedes              Lewis Hamilton    Nico RosbergFerrari               Fernando Alonso   Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault         Romain Grosjean   Pastor MaldonadoMcLaren-Mercedes      Jenson Button     Kevin MagnussenForce India-Mercedes  Nico Hulkenberg   tbaSauber-Ferrari        tba               tbaToro Rosso-Renault    Jean-Eric Vergne  Daniil KvyatWilliams-Mercedes     Felipe Massa      Valtteri BottasMarussia-Ferrari      Jules Bianchi     tbaCaterham-Renault      tba               tba

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