Formula One team Sauber says it has promoted Esteban Gutierrez to be its second driver for the 2013 season.

The 21-year-old Mexican has worked with Sauber since 2009 and was its F1 test and reserve driver for the past two seasons.

Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn says Gutierrez has “great talent. We mapped out his path to Formula One step by step.”

Gutierrez will drive alongside Nico Hulkenberg of Germany in a new lineup for the Switzerland-based team next season.

Sauber's current top driver Sergio Perez of Mexico is replacing Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, and Kamui Kobayashi of Japan is leaving the team. -Sapa-AP