Grosjean says Haas decision based on 'financial reasons'

Could Schumacher and Hulkenberg replace Grosjean and Magnussen? (2:48)

Laurence Edmondson discusses the Haas driver replacement rumours including Mick Schumacher and Nico Hulkenberg. (2:48)

Romain Grosjean was surprised that both he and Kevin Magnussen have been dropped by Haas for 2021, a decision explained to him as a financial one.

Haas will have an all-new driver lineup in 2021 after having retained the Grosjean-Magnussen pairing since 2017. Well-backed Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, currently racing in Formula 2, is understood to be a candidate for one of the Haas seats, while Sergio Perez and Mick Schumacher are also in the mix for the other.

Grosjean was braced for bad news but did not expect a complete overhaul.

"I knew that probably one of us would be out at the end of the year, just because of the situation around the world," Grosjean said. "COVID has made it very hard financially for a lot of companies around the world. So I knew one of us would go out.

"That's what I said to Guenther [Steiner] on the call when he called me, I said 'I was expecting one of us'. He said 'No, for financial reasons I need both of you out.'

"So fair enough, I fully understand, I know it's been a tough year with COVID and a lot of industries and companies have suffered from it. The team is going in a different path and I wish them luck for the future."

Magnussen said his lack of financial support has hurt him in this instance.

"I can't bring the kind of backing you need in Formula One," he said. "I have sponsors and I have partners but it's not at all big in this world. It's not enough to make a difference for me.

"I'm not going to speak for the team. Guenther and Gene and the team can do that, they can tell you why they did what they did. But certainly, I can't bring what a lot of drivers can bring out there. So yeah, it is what it is really."

On the same topic, Grosjean said: "[I'm] very similar to Kevin, I've had some partners in my career following me through different times and teams, but I've never been a pay driver as such and I don't want to become one. It's just the way it is."