Sauber was wrong time and wrong place - Gutierrez

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Ferrari reserve and test driver Esteban Gutierrez considers the two years he spent at Sauber were the most difficult of his young motor racing career.

The Mexican, who graduated to Formula 1 from GP2 in 2013, was recruited by Sauber who paired the junior with Nico Hulkenberg. It was a laborious apprenticeship for Gutierrez who succeeded in scoring points on only one occasion, in the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix.

Speaking to, Gutierrez reflected on his Sauber tenure and the frustrations he endured.

"When you get to F1, you have to prove you have the talent. But it was not easy to cope with the things happening around the sport, the team. So it was challenging for me to have a smooth transition. The first year, me being a rookie, I was able to be competitive sometimes and it was good inside the team."

Like the rest of his colleagues, Gutierrez was confronted with the massive regulation changes which were introduced in 2014 and the challenge presented by the hybrid power units.

"The second year, with the change in regulations and everything, was very frustrating. The car just wasn't there."

Indeed, Sauber failed to score a single point during the campaign, but Gutierrez's performance level was perceived as positive from the inside and led to his recruitment for a testing role with Sauber's engine partner Ferrari.

"There were a lot of people from Ferrari the team, they knew about the work I was putting into the situation, so that gave me the opportunity to come here. In many ways, to the outside world, it looked really bad - and it was - but inside, there were lots of things happening that were positive."

"But unfortunately, I wasn't able to improve - I was probably at the wrong time, wrong place."

Click here for F1i's mid-term report on how the Formula One teams have fared so far in 2015

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