Esteban Gutierrez believes that his crash during the closing minutes of the Yas Marina young driver test is part of his learning experience in F1.
The Mexican, who impressed the Sauber team throughout his two days of running, spun at Turn 3 while attempting to improve his lap time on super-soft tires. The car sustained minor damage to a wheel rim after a relatively light impact, and Gutierrez has put the cause down to confusion with the DRS system.
"It's part of racing," said Gutierrez. "Throughout the two days it was important to have a margin to complete the test program, but then the opportunity came up at the end to do a quick lap.
"I've driven the F1 car four times before and not crashed, so there's always a first time. To know the limit, you have to. It was because of a mistake with the DRS."
Despite the accident, Gutierrez ended the day sixth fastest, half a second behind Force India driver Max Chilton. He believes that he is getting more comfortable in F1 machinery with every test and is now at the point where it is about making tiny improvements.
"I was pushing myself, looking at the data and trying to do the things that I wanted to apply," he said. "It's not easy when you speak about little things, but it's just about fine-tuning my driving style to adapt to F1. Right now, I know that I can improve more. Looking at these two days as a whole, corner by corner, step by step, I have a good idea of what I need to work on for the future."
He highlighted achieving greater stability with the car over the curbs as one area where he could improve, but he was cautious not to compare his pace both to others driving during the test and to Sauber's regular drivers because of the differences in their programs
"You cannot compare the lap time," he said. "You have different engine settings, tire compounds and fuel loads. But definitely, the stability on the curbs is something that I can improve; to be able to get through in a more stable way. This is the main point."