Romain Grosjean says he was informed by Haas that the decision to retain neither him nor Kevin Magnussen for the 2021 Formula 1 season was taken for financial reasons.
Grosjean has been with Haas since its formation ahead of the 2016 campaign, with Magnussen joining a year later, but on Thursday the team confirmed both will leave after the 2020 campaign.
It is believed that Haas is poised to take on two rookies, with one Ferrari junior – most likely Mick Schumacher – and well-funded Formula 2 racer Nikita Mazepin the front-runners.
Grosjean says he expected either he or Magnussen to make way in one seat for 2021 but expressed surprise that both had been told their services were no longer required.
“I knew that probably one of us would be out at the end of the year, just because of the situation around the world,” said Grosjean.
“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.”
Grosjean is understood to have explored options in Formula E and the World Endurance Championship, with Porsche’s new hypercar project having interested the Frenchman.
“There are a few discussions and a few options that I would love to race,” he said.
“I miss the winning feeling as well, I miss the feeling coming into a race weekend thinking I can fight for the win this weekend, I can fight for the podium, I need to get the best of myself to get there rather than hoping to get out of Q1, and if things happen, you score a point or two.
“It doesn’t mean that you don’t give your best when it’s like this, but you miss something as a racer and hopefully I can figure out good options for me and let you know ASAP.”