Sauber rumor: Slim wants Gutierrez behind the wheel

File this one into the rumor mill, albeit in your nicest and hopefully gold-and-diamond-encrusted rumor mill.

According to Cancha magazine, Carlos Slim — the world’s richest man and big Sauber backer — expects Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez to drive alongside Nico Hulkenberg next year as Slim continues his sponsorship of the team. Given Gutierrez’s role as Sauber’s test driver this year, that doesn’t seem like a huge stretch. He got a little time behind the wheel in India, too, when Sergio Perez was ill.

The bigger impact is on Kamui Kobayashi, who may be getting a pesos squeeze if this rumor is true.

I know Kamui has been a bit of an F1B favorite due to his exciting and daring driving style. He isn’t doing terrible compared to Perez. The Mexican driver — who is headed over to McLaren, if you missed that wee little development — has 66 points and the Japanese driver has 58. Combined they have Sauber in a solid sixth place in the team standings.

Money talks in Formula 1, of course. Can you blame Sauber for bowing to its big sponsor’s wish? Is there another team that ought to pick Kobayashi up if, indeed, he is a free agent come the end of the season?

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