Esteban Gutierrez has confirmed he’ll leave the Haas F1 Team in 2017, which paves the way for the expected confirmation of Kevin Magnussen to replace him next year.
The Mexican posted a note to social media late Thursday night.
The note reads, in English:
“Dear friends, I want to share with you that I will no longer be with Haas F1 Team for next season.
“I want to thank all the team and staff, especially Gene Haas for this opportunity to work with them. 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.
“Special thanks to all my fans and supporters, you will always have a place in my heart.
“I hope to shortly share my plans for the future. Warm regards!”
Gutierrez’s F1 race seat options for 2017 are limited, with only Sauber – set to use year-old Ferrari engines and with Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr likely if not outright confirmed to continued – and Manor, which has at least one seat open with Esteban Ocon’s departure for Force India confirmed today, as the only teams yet to finalize their 2017 lineups.
He raced for Sauber in 2013 and 2014.
On the bright side, Gutierrez has seemed confident in interviews he’d have a place on the grid next year. And he just got married, so it’s not all bad for the 25-year-old Mexican.
ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).
“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.
“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”
For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.
“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.
“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”
Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.
“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.