It is no secret that Sauber's replacement for McLaren-bound Sergio Perez owes his position to the team's Mexican sponsorship portfolio.
Sauber say they are convinced by Gutierrez's talent, but they have to say that.
In truth, it is difficult to judge his potential.
Gutierrez's stats and facts
His career in the junior formulae has been chequered. He won Formula BMW and GP3 in his debut seasons, but was unconvincing in the demanding European Formula Three series.
Last year, his second in the GP2 series, he finished third in the championship after taking three wins.
Sauber is a relaxed, low-pressure place to start a grand prix career. But in Nico Hulkenberg, Gutierrez has a team-mate who will ruthlessly show up any weaknesses.