Haas to allow Grosjean to make call on racing next weekend at Sakhir GP

Haas Formula 1 boss Gunther Steiner says he will support any decision Romain Grosjean makes about participating in next week's Sakhir Grand Prix

Haas to allow Grosjean to make call on racing next weekend at Sakhir GP

Steiner insisted that he wouldn't speculate about possible replacement drivers until he's talked to the Frenchman face-to-face today.

Grosjean suffered burns to his hands in his scary accident on the first lap of the Bahrain GP, but was otherwise uninjured, and spent Sunday evening in hospital.

If he is passed fit and wants to drive he is due to be back in the car on Friday for the start of the Sakhir GP round, his penultimate F1 race with the team.

Steiner did concede that the team has a plan in place regarding a substitute driver should one be required, although he wouldn't elaborate on who will step in.

"My plan is tomorrow to go and see him, see what is really happening," said Steiner. "I didn't go there today, I just spoke on the telephone with him because we had a lot of stuff to sort out here.

"He was feeling good, he was in good spirits. I must admit I found him in good spirits, we even cracked a few jokes, and we just talked through a little bit.

"He asked me a few things, I asked him a few things, but he was very upbeat. When I called him, he was on the phone with his son, so he's spoken with his family. He was good today.

"I go there tomorrow morning [Monday] and speak with him, and see what the doctors have got to say tomorrow, and go from there.

"For sure we have always got a plan in place, but at the moment, my plan would be, if he is OK, to get back in on the race in Bahrain next weekend. But we have to wait until tomorrow."

Asked if there would be a mental as well as physical aspect to any decision on racing, given the scale of the accident, Steiner said he would leave it up to Grosjean to make the call.

"I don't know the answer. For sure, I wouldn't go this afternoon and ask him that one," Steiner said. "Therefore, I [will] go and see him tomorrow, and see how he feels. And that is his decision, I will not interfere with that one. He needs to make that one up with himself.

"I follow his guidance there. And I don't know how he feels tomorrow, because for sure, tomorrow the bruises come through. And maybe he thinks a little bit more about it, and I don't know, everybody reacts differently to a thing like this.

"So that's why I said, I don't want to start to speculate who's gonna replace him, if he's gonna replace him, when we don't know if someone is gonna replace him or not. So that is the reason why I want to give him a little bit of time to think about it, to give us feedback, what he wants to do, and go from there.

"I can see that only tomorrow when I look into his eyes. I just was on the phone with him today, it's difficult to judge. And you know, today the adrenaline is going for sure with him, knowing what happened.

"That's why I want to go and see him, just to see how he feels, and where his thoughts are. As I said before, I will support whatever he wants to do."

Haas has two official reserve drivers in Pietro Fittipaldi and Louis Deletraz, both of whom are already in Bahrain.

However the latter is committed to the F2 finale next weekend, as is Mick Schumacher, who is expected to race for the team in 2021 and also has a superlicence.

Both could be available for the Abu Dhabi GP, as would the team's other expected 2021 signing Nikita Mazepin, pending a successful superlicence application.

Pressed on whether the team might use one of its reserves or go for someone experienced like Nico Hulkenberg, Steiner said: "I'm staying with the opinion that I want to speak first with Romain before speculating on whoever goes in there if he cannot drive.

"So it will be the next days when we get from the doctors the verdict of how bad his injuries are, then we decide what we're doing.

"In the moment Romain is driving, and otherwise we are ready. We know what we're gonna do."

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