Gutierrez pleased to be consulted on Leclerc’s FP1 outings

© XPB 

Esteban Gutierrez says he “really appreciates” Haas F1 Team involving him in the planning of development driver Charles Leclerc’s free practice outings.

The 18-year-old made the first of his five scheduled FP1 appearances at Silverstone two weeks ago, with the Monegasque set to drive again in Hungary, Germany, Malaysia, and Abu Dhabi.

Haas previously said that Gutierrez has relinquished his seat to allow Leclerc, who is currently leading the GP3 Series, valuable F1 experience .

“Together with the team, we find the right compromise,” the Mexican further explained. “It’s not that I chose, it was a combination of factors. But the most important thing, which I really appreciate, is that they involve me in the decision-making and that there was a good balance between opinions.

“When [Charles] came, I knew it in plenty of time, everything was planned. I was aware of it. Together we chose which grands prix were the best for it. Why not, if it’s already the case that he is going to drive. He’s there, I told him ‘Tell me if there is anything you have any questions about, anything that I can help with’.

Gutierrez, who won the inaugural GP3 Series in 2010, adds that Leclerc acquitted himself well during his maiden FP1 outing.

“I was in his position as well in my career. I remember when I came to a Formula One car for the first time. It was a very special day for me, it was something nice. Obviously he is taking care of my car so I did not want him to do anything wrong [laughs].

“He did a pretty decent job, he did not do any mistakes when driving the car. It was nice for him, it was a special day for him. It was a big opportunity and, from my perspective, I was there and positive with him.”

Asked whether he was concerned to miss valuable track time in practice at several grand prix weekends, Gutierrez joked that the series of technical issues he has suffered so far this year has prepared him for being sidelined.

“I am used to not doing one practice session or many (laughs)! It did not affect a lot [in Silverstone] to be honest.”

Chris Medland's 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix preview

Technical snapshot - Silverstone

Closing the gap? 2016 constructors points progression

TECHNICAL: Under the skin of the Mercedes W07

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter