Outgoing Haas driver Romain Grosjean has revealed the team's hunger for financial backing was the reason he has been axed along with team-mate Kevin Magnussen.
Both drivers have confirmed they are to leave Haas at the end of this season, bringing to an end a four-year partnership at the team.
Speculation has been high over a "shopping list" for team principal Guenther Steiner, with at least 10 drivers linked with a seat at Haas over the past couple of months.
Steiner had indicated the team could head down the 'pay-driver' route in order to boost the team's finances.
When asked if he was surprised by the team dropping both himself and Magnussen, Grosjean replied: "Yes, a little bit," before explaining the reasons given by his team boss.
"I knew probably one of us would be out at the end of the year. The situation around the world and Covid has made it very hard financially for a lot of companies, so I knew one of us would go out.
"That's what I said to Guenther [Steiner] when he called me and he said 'No, for financial reasons, I need both of you out,' so fair enough. I fully understand.
"It has been a tough year with Covid and the squeeze companies have suffered from it. As I say, the team is going a different path and I wish them the best of luck for the future."
Of the options available to Haas for next season, Sergio Perez comes with healthy backing from Mexico, while F2 race-winner Nikita Mazepin has strong support from Russia.
In addition, Ferrari has a trio of its academy drivers in Mick Schumacher, Callum Ilott and Robert Shwartzman, who are all fighting for the Formula 2 championship, all in contention.
Magnussen conceded he simply does not possess the financial firepower to stay in the sport, even with personal sponsors assisting him.
"I can't bring the kind of backing that you need in Formula 1," he said.
"I have sponsors and partners but it is not at all big in this world. It is not enough to make a difference for me.
"I am not going to speak for the team. I think Guenther and Gene [Haas] can tell you why they have done it but certainly, I can't bring what a lot of the other drivers can bring out there."
Grosjean echoed the Dane, adding: "I have never been a pay driver, I don't want to become one. It is what it is."
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