Confirming what was possibly the worst kept secret in Formula One, Haas F1 Team have revealed that Esteban Gutierrez will join Romain Grosjean at the American team in 2016.
Gutierrez, a current Ferrari reserve driver, has been widely expected to be one of the team's drivers for some time with his significant financial backing, North American nationality and links to Ferrari - who will be supplying the new team with a number of components, including engines, next season - making him a form favourite for a seat with the North Carolina-based team.
The Mexican driver's signing was announced in Mexico City on the Friday evening of the Mexico Grand Prix weekend, returning to the calendar for the first time since 1992.
"I am very grateful to Gene (Haas)," said the former GP3 champion. "I believe that together we can achieve many great things"
Having made his F1 début in 2013 with Sauber, the 24-year-old, has spent this year as a test and reserve driver for Scuderia Ferrari. Despite having the opportunity to work with the most prestigious team on the Formula One grid, Gutierrez is looking forward to being back in a race seat next season.
"I'm very hungry to return to the wheel," he said. "I learned a lot this year and the project will be very important."
Gutierrez joins Grosjean who was announced at the team last month, beating the likes of Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin Magnussen and Alexander Rossi who were also linked with the drive.
Speaking on the announcement of the Swiss-born Frenchman, team founder Gene Haas said, "We were looking for an experienced driver and Romain was one of several
"He’s been in Formula One for
many years, he’s been an excellent driver for team Lotus."
Image: Ferrari Media