Four months after losing his Formula One seat, Esteban Gutierrez’s motor racing career is back on track — in Formula E.
The Mexican has joined Techeetah, one of 10 teams competing in the all-electric racing series, and will partner Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne for the rest of the 2016-17 world championship.
The 25-year-old had already agreed to race at the Mexico ePrix — his home event — but announced Monday that he will drive for the new Chinese team.
“I’m very grateful to join Techeetah, a team with real competitiveness,” Gutierrez said in a statement.
“After four years of an incredible experience in F1, I’m now taking a step forward into the future of motorsports.
“I am especially excited about my debut race at the Mexico City ePrix. Hopefully I can put on a good show for the passionate home fans.”
Gutierrez replaces Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua, who has struggled to compete since making his debut for Techeetah at the Hong Kong ePrix last October.
Vergne — who raced for DS Virgin Racing last season — has fared better, securing Techeetah’s first points at November’s Marrakech ePrix and its maiden podium with second place in Buenos Aires last month.
Techeetah was formed when Chinese sports marketing and management company SECA took over Team Aguri, which pulled out of the series following its second season.
‘Electric cars are the future’
Gutierrez, who will feature on CNN’s Supercharged show in April, has previously described Formula E as “one of motorsport’s most important categories.”
He spent three seasons in F1 — two with Sauber, and then raced for Haas in 2016. Gutierrez lost his seat at the American team after finishing 21st out of 24 drivers, failing to score a point for the second successive year.
“It’s a totally different concept to Formula One but it’s very exciting to come in and see that there is a good future in front,” he told CNN.
“Electric cars are the future of mobility in the world — most of us know that.”
The Mexico ePrix — the fourth round of the 2016-17 season — takes place at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez on April 1.