Dale Coyne Racing’s Esteban Gutierrez says that he is using this weekend’s Double Header Chevrolet Belle Isle Dual in Detroit presented by Lear to learn.

The Mexican former Formula One driver has been signed to fill in for the injured Sebastien Bourdais in the No.18 Honda at Dale Coyne Racing for the rest of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season starting with today’s Detroit Grand Prix race one on the Belle Isle Raceway.

On Friday, his first day in a Verizon IndyCar Series machine, Gutierrez completed 41 laps over the course of the two 45 minute practice sessions setting a combined fastest lap time of 01:18.2289s in his No.18 Unifin Honda. Speaking following his first day in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Gutierrez said:

My approach this weekend is to learn. “So, I’ll take it step by step very progressively, no mistakes, just enjoying the experience and the speed will come naturally.

The former Formula One driver who drove for the Haas F1 Team, Ferrari (as their test driver) and the Sauber F1 Team went on to say:

It’s completely different from what I’m used to. I really enjoy the feeling of driving the Indy car. It’s really natural, you get a lot of feedback from the steering wheel. The track is very bumpy and the track layout is also very interesting with how you enter Turn 1 and then Turn 2 is a very high speed corner, on a street circuit it’s pretty special. Everything is a bit in a rush since I’ve arrived, but I’m going to take it progressively, step by step, to try and get into a rhythm and understand the car, especially with the two different tire compounds. Right now it was the first time I used the Firestone reds, so it will be interesting to see how they react tomorrow.

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