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Esteban Gutierrez feeling the need to look around after Haas F1 delay 2017 decision

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Esteban Gutierrez feeling the need to look around after Haas F1 delay 2017 decision
Oct 28, 2016, 5:30 PM

It has been suggested that Haas is thinking of changing one of its drivers and with Esteban Gutierrez failing to score a point so far this season, ...

It has been suggested that Haas is thinking of changing one of its drivers and with Esteban Gutierrez failing to score a point so far this season, it is no surprise that he has admitted to assessing “other options” for the 2017 season.

Although Gutierrez’s teammate Romain Grosjean is expected to remain with the American squad for a second season, with a multi-year contract in place, team founder Gene Haas revealed at the US Grand Prix that he “wouldn't be surprised if we wait until the end of the season to make a decision” on the full 2017 line-up.

Speaking at the pre-event press conference for his home race, the Mexican Grand Prix, Gutierrez explained that he was now holding talks with other teams about a move away from Haas for 2017, as he did not want to wait until the end of the season to know his Haas fate and in the process miss out on a job with another team.

Nico Rosberg

He said: “I think Gene has been very clear in the media, they want to wait a few races.

“Fortunately, we have other options, which we are now considering strongly, and I think it will be important to close something soon, because we cannot risk to just wait a few more races until the end of the season and risk to fall in between two chairs. So we are doing our best and things are looking very good for next season.”

When asked if there was a deadline on the negotiations he was currently undertaking, Gutierrez replied that it “should be in the next two weeks”.

Esteban Gutierrez

There are currently 10 F1 seats still to be confirmed for 2017 at Haas, Williams, Force India, Renault, Manor and Sauber. Williams has announced that it will unveil its line-up for next year on 3 November at an event at its factory in Grove, where the team is expected to retain Valtteri Bottas and confirm FIA European Formula 3 champion Lance Stroll as its 2017 drivers.

Sauber is likely to retain Marcus Ericsson, whose backers have bought into the team.

Gutierrez, who is yet to score a point in 2016 while Grosjean has scored 29, was drafted into Haas thanks to his role as test and development driver for Ferrari. He has conducted 2017 tyre testing for the Scuderia over the summer.

Insights into the new tyres add to the 25-year-old’s potential value for new teams – only Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull are testing the development rubber – as do his Mexican backers. Like Sergio Perez and Force India’s development driver Alfonso Celis Jr, Gutierrez is a Escuderia Telmex driver and Haas runs the logos of Telcel, a telecommunications company owned by Carlos Slim’s América Móvil.

Esteban Gutierrez Ferrari

Gutierrez is making is first appearance at the Mexican Grand Prix after spending 2015 on the F1 sidelines and the former Sauber driver is looking forward to competing in front of his home fans this weekend.

He said: “It's an incredible feeling to be here and see how all the people are excited. I feel honoured to be able to share this great weekend, this great moment, with all the people that are going to be here supporting us - family, friends, fans - it's just an incredible feeling.

“It feels like a whole big party through the whole weekend. So, yeah, everybody is excited. I'm very grateful for the support and I'm going to give my best to give the best result possible this weekend and I'm lucky to be here, with another opportunity, thinking that it's going to be in Mexico, in my home country and enjoying all together.”

Haas changes brake material for Mexico

Haas has changed the brake material it runs on its VF-16 cars in a bid to stop the problems that have blighted its recent races.

XPB.cc Romain Grosjean

Brake problems forced Grosjean out of the Singapore and Malaysian races, while Gutierrez retired from last weekend’s US Grand Prix with another braking issue.

The team’s brake supplier Brembo has brought a different material to the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, according to Haas team principal Gunther Steiner.

He said: "We do the best we can to keep it under control. We have some different parts coming but we still need to see how it works.

XPB.cc Guenther Steiner

"We do something to do the utmost possible to make sure it doesn't happen again and we hope we get it working. We use a different material here. It's a new material to us.

"We need to test it to see if the drivers are happy with it. I think we keep this one as it seems to be avoiding the problem we have in Austin - that is our main aim. I'm confident we find a solution for Brembo tomorrow, to overcome the problem until the end of the year."

Do you think Gutierrez will leave Haas at the end of 2016? Do you think he will switch teams for 2017? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Romain Grosjean Shop Now