Guenther Steiner has indicated he will not be forced into making a decision on Esteban Gutierrez for the 2017 F1 season despite the driver's declaration he will begin looking at other options if assurances aren't forthcoming.
A year on from Haas officially completing its first F1 driver line-up with Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean, with only three races of the 2016 season remaining the American team's bosses have stalled on divulging more about their plans for next year.
Though Grosjean is expected to stay on, Gutierrez's place in the team remains very much under threat having failed to score a point and been involved in a series of high-profile incidents over blue flags with leading drivers.
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With eponymous team owner Gene Haas suggesting the team will wait until after the season to decide on its drivers, Gutierrez says he wants to have a decision in 'two weeks' or he will explore alternative options
It is a threat team principal Steiner is unmoved by though, suggesting Gutierrez's main focus should be on his home race this weekend in Mexico.
“I have no opinion [on his deadline]... In two weeks he will know,” he said laughing. “At the moment, no. If I count opinions we get into speculation and it isn't right. We need to… we will tell him within the next two to three weeks what we are doing. The season is almost ended anyway.
We have not made any decision yet. So that is why I say I would rather everybody concentrates on racing this weekend, especially him and see what is coming out.”
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Asked whether Haas is waiting for other teams to firm up their line-ups to see who may be available, Steiner suggests there is an element of that.
“I think we know pretty well what other people are doing and there is not so much going on at the moment, but that is not the big factor.”
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