MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican Esteban Gutierrez is set to complete the new Haas F1 team’s 2016 lineup after they scheduled a driver announcement in Mexico on Friday.
The fact that the announcement will be streamed live on the Escuderia Telmex and Claro Sports websites would have been a strong enough hint if the Ferrari reserve’s signing was not already considered the sport’s worst-kept secret.
Telmex and Claro are both subsidiaries of telecoms giant America Movil, and Gutierrez has been backed by them throughout his Formual One career.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner this month described the kind of driver the team, who are making their debut next year, was looking for.
“Someone who has driven an F1 car, of the current generation, money is always important because it costs a lot of money, and North America is a nice place for a driver to come from,” he said.
Haas are using Ferrari engines with technical support and Gutierrez has been Ferrari’s reserve since he lost his race seat at Ferrari-powered Sauber last season.
Frenchman Romain Grosjean has already been signed from Lotus for the other seat.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Peter Rutherford)