Haas F1 boss Guenther Steiner says Esteban Gutierrez's failure to score points relative to team-mate Roman Grosjean during the 2016 Formula 1 season was a major factor in its decision to axe him from their line-up for 2017.
The Mexican, who raced with Sauber in 2013 and 2014, returned to F1 action in 2016 with Haas but while he was often a relative match to Grosjean in terms of pace, he failed to score a point compared with his team-mate's 29.
Ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the 2016 F1 season, Haas confirmed it would replace Gutierrez with Kevin Magnussen, prompting the 25 year-old to label the decision as 'not fair'
in the immediate aftermath and suggest the consideration of his performances should have taken precedence over statistics.
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However, while Steiner was praiseworthy for Gutierrez's professionalism during the 2016 season, he says it is difficult to ignore his failure to crack the top ten.
“It is very difficult but I think that is the main thing: he didn't score the points whereas Romain has. You need to be good in qualifying because that usually helps to be in a good position for qualifying but he didn't score points.
“Sure, if you analyse everything to death you can always put them one way or the other. There are some many ways to interpret then [the statistics]. I think we, as a team, made a conscious decision to make a change and as much as he doesn't like it we still made it. We shouldn't be keep beating that dead horse.”
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Asked whether he felt Gutierrez wasn't consistent enough, Steiner suggested the performance of the driver relative to the yield of results worked against him.
“He needs to put the whole weekend together. You can look into races and qualifying yourself, you don't need to ask me. You can quote me and that is what you want but if you look yourself you see it there.”
Gutierrez is reportedly in the running for available seats at Sauber and Manor for the 2017 F1 season.
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