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F1 Mexican GP: Haas: We’ll evaluate 2017 driver options until Abu Dhabi

Gene Haas says no decision on drivers for 2017 will be confirmed until the end of the season as the team looks to evaluate all of its options.
Gene Haas says no decision on drivers for 2017 will be confirmed until the end of the season as the team looks to evaluate all of its options as well as current drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez.

The American F1 team made a long-awaited return to the points at its home debut in Austin thanks to Grosjean's tenth place finish, ending a run of eight consecutive races without a point.

Upon its preparations for its maiden F1 campaign, Haas confirmed Grosjean as its lead driver at last year's US Grand Prix before announcing Gutierrez a week later at his home event in Mexico.

However, team owner Gene Haas says no similar announcements will be made this year and has confirmed the team will hold off a final decision on its 2017 driver line-up until at least the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

“I don't think we've made any hard decisions on our drivers,” Haas said during the build-up to the US GP. “We are happy with our drivers as they currently are, but we're still evaluating everything and there's no advantage for us to sit there and say exactly who may or may not have a drive, but I'm not sitting here saying we are going to change drivers either.

“We just keep evaluating, every week we have a bit more information to evaluate and I wouldn't be surprised if we wait until the end of the season to make a decision.”

READ: Who is going where? 2017 F1 driver line-up so far

Pressure is believed to be on Gutierrez, who despite finishing 11th on five separate occasions has failed to score a single point so far in 2016, while the likes of Kevin Magnussen or Jolyon Palmer could potentially become available as both are battling for just the one remaining race seat at Renault alongside Nico Hulkenberg.

“We still need to evaluate things,” he said. “We would like to see a few more points and that would help solidify our decision. Just something simple like that.”

Haas appears destined to finish its first F1 campaign eighth in the world constructors' championship ahead of Renault, Manor and Sauber.



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