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SBD Global/November 9, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sauber F1 Sponsor Telmex Calls For Esteban Gutierrez As Team's Second Driver In '13

Telecom company Telmex's sponsorship deal with the Sauber F1 Team "is dependent on the team's decision of whether or not to promote Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez as the team's second permanent driver in '13," according to Sven Haidinger of MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com. Sauber still has to set up its driver lineup for '13. The team "has to decide if it wants to stick with Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi or promote its current test driver Gutierrez to become Nico Hülkenberg's teammate for '13." Mexican media reports indicate that the 21-year-old Gutierrez "will get the spot." Telmex board member Carlos Slim Domit, who is the son of the richest man in the world Carlos Slim Helu, said in an interview, "We are in talks with Sauber about next season. We want to continue our partnership -- obviously with a Mexican driver named Esteban Gutierrez." Slim Domit added, "We will have talks with the team in the upcoming weeks, but I have no doubt that we will have two Mexican drivers in F1 next year. Should this not be the case, we would have to rethink our F1 involvement." In addition to Telmex, a majority of the team's sponsors are from Mexico. Sauber is in a financially difficult situation and has already signed talented Force India driver Hülkenberg, who is supposed to rack up top finishes for the team even after the departure of Sergio Pérez to McLaren at the end of the season. Therefore, it is understandable that above all "sponsorship deals will decide what driver gets the second spot" (MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com, 11/8).
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