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Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez says he is determined to establish himself as the team’s lead driver in just his second season in Formula One.
The Mexican was largely in the shadow of his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg last season but with the German deciding to move back to his former team Force India, the opportunity for Gutierrez to step into the limelight has now arisen.
With the Australian Grand Prix edging ever closer, Sauber are trying to make sure they will be as competitive as possible, as they look to keep up with the likes of Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari.
There were promising signs for the team at testing in Jerez last week and Gutierrez is hoping that his experiences from last season will hold him in good stead with this new car for the 2014 campaign.
The 22-year-old said: “With the experience I have I want to be a team leader.
“I want to fulfil my expectations. At the moment it’s very tricky to say precise expectations because we don’t know as a team where we are. It’s very difficult to compare and very difficult to bring up a specific goal. But overall I want to make 2014 very successful for the team and also for myself.”
It’s unlikely Gutierrez will be able to challenge the likes of Sebastian Vettel, who is 2.750 to retain his world drivers’ championship, this season but the Sauber racer will be looking to impress with the possibility of moving up the grid with a new team in the future.