November 6, 2014 / 8:13 PM / 4 years ago

Gutierrez was expecting to leave Sauber

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Sauber’s decision not to renew his contract came as no surprise to Mexican Formula One driver Esteban Gutierrez, who said on Thursday that his chances of finding another seat for next season were looking slim.

Sauber Formula One driver Esteban Gutierrez of Mexico sits in his car during a practice session at the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps August 22, 2014. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Sauber have not scored a point in 17 races this season, the Swiss team’s worst run of form since they entered the sport in 1993, and the car has given Gutierrez little chance to shine.

The team announced on Wednesday an all-new lineup of Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson and Brazilian Felipe Nasr for 2015.

“After long talks with the team we didn’t reach an agreement,” Gutierrez told reporters at the Brazilian Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the championship.

“It’s the way it is. It’s quite disappointing not to have a seat next season, although my priority is still to remain in Formula One.”

Gutierrez has been part of the Sauber set-up for five years, although he only made his race debut last year when he had a highest finish of seventh in Japan.

With most teams having finalised their lineups, there are few options.

Force India have one seat still unconfirmed, although they look set to retain the more experienced and successful Mexican Sergio Perez.

Lotus have also yet to confirm Frenchman Romain Grosjean, although he sounded confident at Interlagos that an announcement was imminent.

Gutierrez said he had known for some time that he would not be kept on.

“Honestly, when you work with people for so many years you know them, and you know the body language,” said the Mexican. “We were in negotiations, but it was just not reasonable for us to continue.

“My career is not finished, I’m still quite young and there is a long way to go,” added the 23-year-old.

Editing by Martyn Herman

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