After scoring only 6 points in his Formula 1 career, it’s not all that hard to understand why people are hesitant about ex-Formula 1 driver, Esteban Gutierrez, joining Techeetah to race in Formula E.
Having only one points finish under his belt in F1 means people have been quick to judge, branding him as a waste of a seat. However, Gutierrez has not always been held in this light. May I remind you that the 25-year-old is a GP3 champion! He has talent and when he first came into F1, people knew that.
However, success in racing doesn’t just boil down to talent. When everything is stripped away, the structure of a successful driver’s career can be broken down to talent, yes, but also opportunity, chance and luck; three things that are limited in supply.
Some may argue that you make your own luck, your own chances, I would argue otherwise.
When luck isn’t on your side, there are only so many bad things that can happen before people label you. In his final season in F1, Gutierrez experienced more than his fair share of bad luck. Can’t think of an example? Cast your mind back to the very first race of 2016 and the Alonso/Gutierrez collision. The only good luck in play there was that they both walked away from the wreck.
Having watched Gutierrez for four years, there are several things I’ve learned about him. The first is that he is thoughtful. Some drivers take to a track and steal every opportunity that comes their way and others create their own gaps. Gutierrez is quite different. Decision-making seems to be more of an intense calculation as he weighs up the pros and cons of a move he might make. He is very intelligent and he uses his abilities in a way that works best for him. If you think this makes for a boring driver, you couldn’t be more wrong.
What I’d ask you all to remember before thoughts of “Yes, but that one time he…” creep to mind is that just like you, I and every other driver, Gutierrez is human. He has passion, ability and talent. He is unique.
He may not be your cup of tea, but I’d like to remind you to watch his car as he takes to the track this weekend. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll change your mind.
I wish Esteban the very best of luck. This year is a fresh start for him. May the support of his home crowd push him to show everyone the talent he possesses. No doubt, this is his chance.