Gutierrez under Ferrari scrutiny in 2016

© Jose Rubio /WRI2

Ferrari will be keeping an interested eye on Esteban Gutierrez when the Haas driver returns to the F1 grid in 2016.

Given Haas' technical partnership with Ferrari, the Mexican's previous test and reserve driver status with the Scuderia was instrumental in Gene Haas' decision to select the former Sauber hopeful to race alongside Romain Grosjean in the US team's debut season.

But Haas also believes the Italian outfit will evaluate Gutierrez on a constant basis next year in order to determine whether he may qualify for a potential race seat in the future with Ferrari.

"Ferrari is like a top-notch university, and if you go to that university then you have good credentials," Gene Haas told Autosport.

"Ferrari was interested in Esteban driving. Part of it is they would like to try him out so that they can evaluate him for a Ferrari drive down the road.

"I don't know what Ferrari's personal point of view is, but my point of view would be is they put talent in cars that they think have a potential to be their future drivers."

Kimi Raikkonen's contract with Ferrari expires at the end of 2016, and it is widely expected that the coveted drive alongside Sebastian Vettel will be up for grabs in 12 months.

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