Peter Sauber has said it would make no sense to promote reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez into a Formula 1 race seat just yet, as he ruled out the possibility of the youngster being called into action if Sergio Perez has to skip another race.
Sauber had to recruit McLaren reserve Pedro de la Rosa for last weekend's Canadian Grand Prix after Perez was forced to withdraw from the event following Friday practice when he felt unwell. The team has no doubts that Perez will be back to full fitness for next weekend's race in Valencia, but Sauber has already dismissed talk that Gutierrez could be given an opportunity if there are ongoing issues for his regular driver.
When asked about why Gutierrez was not put in the car to replace Perez, Sauber said: "I understand this question, but if these people think a little bit it is absolutely clear. We are responsible for him, and have had a contract with him for a couple of years. It is very important to bring him slowly into F1.
"It would be completely wrong to put him in the car [in Canada] if there was the possibility – it makes absolutely no sense. It is important that he can concentrate on GP2, which is not easy, and to make progress there."
Although de la Rosa will likely be on stand-by in Valencia should Perez not be able to race, Sauber says he is not putting in place any official back-up plans.
"I don't think about that," he said. "For me, it is clear that Sergio can drive."