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Sauber has confirmed that Esteban Gutiérrez will make the step-up to a race seat for the 2013 season, following Sergio Pérez's comments to the media on Thursday morning. The Mexican will join Nico Hülkenberg at the Hinwil-based squad, with Dutchman Robin Frijns becoming the team's test and reserve driver.
Gutiérrez, who has worked with Sauber since 2010, is graduating from the feeder category GP2, where he finished third this season. The 21-year-old says he is 'very grateful' to everyone who has supported him in his quest to join the Formula 1 grid.
"After three years working with Sauber I feel very grateful for all the attention I have received from everyone in the team and for all their input, which has allowed me to develop into a Formula 1 driver in a very progressive way," said Gutiérrez.
"Now, after experiencing other categories of racing as an introduction to Formula One, this is the start of the real challenge to succeed at the pinnacle of motor sport. The support from my family, as well as from my sponsors, has been a key factor in getting there and I am very grateful to everyone who has been involved in our project.
"It will be a great pleasure to be racing in the same team as an experienced driver like Nico Hülkenberg. He will be a good reference point and will push me to adapt quickly to F1 competition so we can develop the car together with the team in the best way."
The news leaves Kamui Kobayashi without a seat for the 2013 season, with the Japanese driver currently searching for sponsors to remain in the sport.
|13 May||Hülkenberg: We have homework ahead|
|11 May||Massa, Gutiérrez hit with grid penalties|
|8 May||Video: Anatomy of a Formula 1 pit-stop|
|3 May||Sauber bringing new rear wing to Spain|
|22 Apr||Hülkenberg pushing for car upgrades|
|20 Apr||Video: Gutiérrez hits Pic in second practice|
|15 Apr||Video: Gutiérrez runs into the back of Sutil|
|15 Apr||Gutiérrez: penalty does not alter approach|
|12 May||Race winner Frijns not confirmed for Monaco|
|11 May||Frijns wins action-packed opening race|
|8 May||Frijns retains Hilmer drive for Barcelona|
|15 Apr||Frijns gets Hilmer seat for Bahrain round|
|23 May||Video: Rosberg, Hamilton in Mercedes advert|
|23 May||Kobayashi returns to Formula 1 paddock|
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|23 May||Räikkönen in no hurry to secure '14 seat|