Mexican Formula One driver Esteban Gutierrez accepted on Friday that he would not be racing for the U.S.-owned Haas team next year. “Dear friends, I want to share with you that I will no longer be with Haas F1 team for the next season,” the 25-year-old said in a statement on his Facebook page.
The announcement came after Renault’s Danish driver Kevin Magnussen was widely reported to have signed a multi-year deal to join Haas as partner to France’s Romain Grosjean.
Gutierrez, who has not scored a point in 19 races so far this year, thanked the Ferrari-powered team and owner Gene Haas for the opportunity to drive for the F1 newcomers in their debut season.
“I wish them all the best. There are two races left, which I intend to enjoy to the fullest and as always, I’ll give my best,” he said.
Haas principal Guenther Steiner said at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Thursday that he expected the team to announce their 2017 lineup within days..
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Gutierrez’s chances of staying in Formula One look bleak, with only Mercedes-powered Manor now having a declared vacancy after their French driver Esteban Ocon was announced on Thursday as part of Force India’s 2017 lineup.
Struggling Sauber have yet to confirm their drivers but both Brazilian Felipe Nasr and Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson look likely to stay.
Gutierrez had a tough time with the Swiss team in 2013 and 2014, despite scoring his only points to date with them in 2013.
The Mexican spent 2015 as a Ferrari reserve and has always driven for Ferrari-powered teams.