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GP Week : Issue 193
A drive-through penalty might have circumvented esteban Gutierrez’ drive to a points-paying position in India, but spirited battles with some of Formula One’s A-listers proved to be a bigger personal reward for the sauber rookie on an upward curve. A jump start from Gutierrez was always going to land him in hot water with the stewards – although the visibility on the grid was so poor that some observers were amazed any of the drivers could see the lights – and sure enough, the Sauber racer was forced to endure a drive-through for his indiscretion. While the penalty undoubtedly robbed the Mexican of some much needed points, his ensuing battle with Fernando Alonso (who was himself mired in the mid-pack) gave Gutierrez a further platform to build on his ever- growing confidence, by daring to re -overtake Alonso just when the Ferrari driver had though he’d gotten the job done on the young challenger. Gutierrez and Daniel Ricciardo were two young drivers who got the better of the two -time world champion on Sunday afternoon in Delhi. Another driver to get mixed up in the Gutierrez show was Romain Grosjean, with the Frenchman’s tactics defending against the Sauber drawing the attention of the stewards, who thought there may have been more than one change of direction before reviewing the footage and determining that no further action need be taken. That any interest was taken at all is curious given Sebastian Vettel’s own robust defensive driving at the start of the race heading into Turn One; the quadruple champion was clearly stretching the rules to their limit by taking a defensive line, then moving out again to execute his desired racing line. Despite leaving India empty-handed, Gutierrez believed his Delhi experience was worth as much as points in terms of personal progression. “T his wasn’t a great weekend, yet I gained valuable experience during the race today,” Gutierrez said after the race. “Unfortunately, I made a mistake at the start and I paid for that with a drive through. We had a good pace today and I had good fights with Fernando [Alonso] and Roman [Grosjean]. I enjoyed that. The car had a very good balance. At the end I struggled a bit on the options, but still I think if I avoid mistakes and we are able to qualify better we can for sure finish in the top ten again.” Esteban's Indian Summer 33 GPWEEK.com // 33 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> INDIA