F1 2017: Esteban Gutierrez considering leaving Haas team

Haas Formula 1 driver Esteban Gutierrez is "strongly considering" alternative drives for 2017, in the wake of his current team's willingness to delay finalising its line-up for next season

F1 2017: Esteban Gutierrez considering leaving Haas team

Romain Grosjean is understood to have agreed a deal to remain with the fledgling American F1 squad for a second season, but Gutierrez has yet to agree terms.

Team owner Gene Haas said ahead of the recent US Grand Prix that he "wouldn't be surprised if we wait until the end of the season to make a decision", which leaves Gutierrez in an uncertain position.

"Gene has been very clear in the media - they want to wait a few races," said Gutierrez, who has set a deadline of 14 days in which to resolve his future.

"Fortunately we have other options, which we are now considering strongly.

"It will be important to close something soon, because we cannot just wait a few more races until the end of the season, and risk falling between two chairs.

"We're doing our best and things are looking very good for next season."

The Mexican driver has shown flashes of speed on his return to full-time F1 action this year, delivering Haas's breakthrough top-10 qualifying performance in September's Italian GP, but he has yet to score a point in 18 races, while Grosjean has amassed 29.

Renault's recent signing of Nico Hulkenberg from Force India has created a vacancy there, and Renault is yet to decide who his team-mate should be.

Manor and Gutierrez's former team Sauber also have seats available for next season.

PEREZ: HULKENBERG HARD TO REPLACE

Force India incumbent Sergio Perez said he would welcome a Mexican team-mate for next year, but he believes finding a suitable replacement for Hulkenberg would be tough.

"A lot of the success the team has had is [down to] Nico and me pushing each other hard," he said.

"From practice to the race, it's always been half a tenth.

"Having someone at the level of Nico is going to be difficult [to find].

"I just want someone who comes with the right attitude to help the team, that gives good feedback, that understands what is going on with the car, and hopefully can be fast and push me - that would be great."

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