Photo: Sauber Motorsport AG
Following promotion of Esteban Gutierrez to a race seat, Sauber sign up Formula Renault 3.5 champion as new reserve and promise to “guide him to Formula One”…
Sauber have confirmed that Robin Frijns will be the team’s new test and reserve driver following the promotion of Esteban Gutierrez to a race seat for the 2013 season. The move had been rumoured for some time regarding the young Dutchman, who won this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series title as a rookie and tested for Sauber as well as Red Bull at the recent Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi.
“Monitoring Robin?s racing career makes it easy to spot his potential,” said Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn. “This was the reason we gave him the chance to drive the Sauber C31-Ferrari at the Young Driver Days in Abu Dhabi. He managed this very well. We will now carefully guide him to Formula One. This is a long way, but Robin has got the skills to do that successfully.?
Frijns added: “I’m very happy the Sauber F1 Team has given me this opportunity. I would like to thank Monisha Kaltenborn and Peter Sauber for their belief and trust in me by signing me to join their team as a test and reserve driver. With this opportunity I will try to help the team as much as possible and get the chance to learn how Formula 1 works in an extremely professional environment. I am already very much looking forward to getting the 2013 season started and working together with the team.”
The 3.5 title was Frijns’ third championship success on the bounce after winning the Formula BMW Europe crown in 2010 and the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 in 2011.
It remains to be seen whether Frijns will get any Friday practice opportunities next year or get any race mileage in another series, although he is known to be a driver without much personal sponsorship money.