Grosjean backs Gutierrez axe

Nov.26 (GMM) Romain Grosjean has hinted he fully supports Haas’ decision to install a new teammate for 2017.

Esteban Gutierrez is reportedly hoping to continue his career at Manor next year, having fallen out with Haas team boss Gunther Steiner.

The pair were seen in a garage altercation recently, and Steiner said he needs to sit down for clear-the-air talks with the Mexican before he departs.

“I’ll try to do it after the race,” he said in Abu Dhabi.

Gutierrez had a notably difficult 2016, scoring no points compared with teammate Grosjean’s 29 for the new American team.

But Steiner said his relationship with Gutierrez is not completely broken.

“It’s alright,” he said. “I think this happens in life — you can’t always be satisfied all of the time.”

Frenchman Grosjean, however, appears to fully back Haas’ decision to oust Gutierrez, who will be replaced for 2017 by the Renault refugee Kevin Magnussen.

“Esteban is faster in qualifying than many think,” Grosjean told Ekstra Bladet newspaper.

“In the races he has struggled a bit more. He did not race last year, but for the team, both cars must be able to score points.”

Grosjean dismisses Gutierrez’s explanation that bad luck is behind his failure to score points this year.

“Over 21 races, there are always some where you are lucky, some unlucky, but it balances itself out,” he said.

So Grosjean said he is looking forward to sharing a garage with Dane Magnussen next year.

“Kevin has good experience now and has shown that he is a real racing driver,” said Grosjean. “That’s what the team wants.”

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