Steiner calm but Grosjean taking possible Haas F1 exit 'seriously'

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Romain Grosjean is taking the possibility of Haas leaving Formula 1 "seriously" even if his boss is remaining calm.

Speculation over the future of the American squad has been growing in recent months after poor results in 2019 led to owner Gene Haas suggesting the outlook was "not favourable" for the team.

With the upcoming rule changes coming in 2022, having been pushed back from 2021, Haas will have to decide if he wants to continue in F1 soon, but facing a "make or break" year, team boss Guenther Steiner is unconcerned.

"I approach every race as a make or break," he told Motorsport in Australia. "Every race, you do your best, you cannot do more than the maximum. That's what we always do, wherever we go."

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As for Gene's comments, Steiner pointed to his interactions with the veteran team owner to offer a positive outlook. 

"I wasn't there when he said that, so I don't know what's make and break but I think it was taken a little bit out of context," he suggested.

"I spoke with him this morning [Thursday before the Australian GP], he phoned me up three hours ago seeing if everything was OK here.

"I think he's committed. He wants to see how we are doing, what is going on with the team. I had 50 minutes with him on the phone.

"I think he's still committed."

But that isn't enough to reassure Grosjean yet, as he offered his own reaction to the speculation.

"One must take Gene seriously, yes," the Frenchman told Canal Plus. "At least he's been clear, there's nothing worse than having someone say they'll be continuing only to unexpectedly pull out of F1.

"Gene was clear: he entered F1 to boost the Haas Automation brand, his company is well-known and he also got involved because of his passion.

"However, I know few people at Haas who were happy to watch F1 in 2019," he acknowledged. "So, I understand his position, but I think it's rather positive."

And even if Haas did pull the plug, Grosjean also thinks the team would be an attractive proposition for a potential takeover. 

"It's true that the mechanics are wondering what will happen. So, if Gene decides to stop, I hope the team will continue," he said.

"I think it will, or that it will be bought because it's a good team. They know how to do things and it's a model that works."