‘Elephant not in Haas’ room, it’s in Grosjean’s’

Date published: July 18 2020

Romain-Grosjean-fireproofs

Romain Grosjean has put his foot in it with Guenther Steiner, who says it is not Haas’ future that is uncertain, rather it is Grosjean’s.

Haas has yet to commit to Formula 1 with Steiner saying earlier this year that team owner Gene Haas had made it clear to him that it would depend on the team’s results.

He does, however, believe that Haas is “here to stay” especially after Formula 1 adopted a slashed budget cap.

Speaking to the official F1 website in June, Steiner said: “Mr Haas can decide what he wants to do but at the moment, his intention is stay within the sport, but before it [a new Concorde Agreement] is signed, I cannot say this is what is going to happen.

“The team, to remind everybody, is owned 100 percent by him so he can make the decisions and we will go from there but I’m very positive about it, where we are now.”

Grosjean, though, isn’t so sure Haas will be on the grid next season.

Asked about his future in Formula 1, the driver told Motorsport.com: “There are a lot of question marks here. Let’s get rid of the elephant in the room – is Haas going to be here next year or not?

“That’s obviously the question.”

Not according to his team boss.

Steiner says Grosjean’s future at Haas is more uncertain than Haas’ in Formula 1.

“I think his answer was the wrong answer,” the Austrian told Sky F1. “Because he was asked what he is doing, and he spoke for the team.

“I think the elephant is in his room, not in our room.

“We know what we want to do, and if we are here or not, that will be just decided once we sign the new Concorde.

“Everything is on the way that this will happen.

“I’m still confident that we will be here. So I think the elephant needs to go out of the room, and into Romain’s room.”

According to Formula 1’s rumour mill Haas is already looking at options to replace Grosjean next season with Sergio Perez leading the charge.

Sergio Perez scores points in Japan despite crashing out.

The Mexican driver should know before the end of July whether Racing Point has triggered an exit clause in his contract so that the team can bring in Sebastian Vettel.

If that happens, Perez could be off to Haas.

Asked if he had spoken with the Racing Point driver, Steiner said: “I think we need to, or in my position, you need to talk with everybody, as I always do.

“I talk a lot, I talk a lot with a lot of people, and sure, I talked with Checo before in previous years. In the end, I’m talking with everybody and anybody.

“I respect Checo and what he is doing. I don’t know what his situation is with Racing Point, and I don’t want to add any more to this speculation that is going on at the moment, because I have no intelligence of it.”

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