Kevin Magnussen Rejoins Haas F1 Team Replacing Mazepin
Kevin Magnussen. March 9, 2022. Photo courtesy: Haas F1 Team.

The Danish driver agreed on a multi-year deal with Haas F1 Team to line up alongside Mick Schumacher, replacing Nikita Mazepin, whose contract was terminated by the squad Saturday.

Kevin Magnussen will join the 2022 F1 grid with Haas F1 Team in Bahrain for a fifth stint with the American team, partnering German driver Mick Schumacher at the wheel of the brand new VF-22.

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, outlined: “I’m delighted to welcome Kevin Magnussen back to Haas F1 Team. When looking for a driver who could bring value to the team, not to mention a wealth of Formula 1 experience, Kevin was a straightforward decision for us.

Kevin’s immediate availability means we can tap into him as a resource for pre-season testing alongside both Mick Schumacher and Pietro Fittipaldi. Pietro’s going to be first in this week with half a day’s running at the test on Thursday - that’s a great opportunity for him, with Mick and Kevin doing the rest ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.”

Formula One official pre-season testing will run from March 10-12 in Bahrain, ahead of the season opener, the Bahrain Grand Prix, staged at the International Circuit in Sakhir from March 18-20.

As a veteran presence in both the garage and the engineering room, he’ll provide a solid benchmark for us with the ongoing development of the VF-22. We’re all looking forward to welcoming Kevin back this week in Bahrain,” Steiner added.

Once the team announced the decision to drop Nikita Mazepin, rumors on who would step in for the Russian driver started to circulate.

Haas Test and Reserve Driver Pietro Fittipaldi was a natural choice to run in pre-season testing due to the Brazilian’s vast experience and history working with the team.

However, choosing a driver for a full-time seat is a different story, which involves further aspects than talent at the wheel.

It is not a secret that business and talent go hand in hand in motorsport, where competition for one of the twenty full-time seats in a Formula One field is fierce.

Other possible contenders’ names soon emerged, such as the case of Dragon Penske Autosport Formula E driver Antonio Giovinazzi and Nico Hulkenberg, currently a reserve driver for the Aston Martin F1 Team.

Magnussen, who entered Formula One in 2014 with McLaren, gave his farewell to the pinnacle of motorsport by the end of the 2020 season.

The 29-year-old drove for Haas from 2017 to 2020, when the team decided not to retain its driver’s lineup - Magnussen and current IndyCar driver Romain Grosjean, hiring a young pairing, Schumacher, and Mazepin instead.

A return seemed unlikely until Thursday when the team broke the news of the Danish comeback.

I was obviously very surprised but equally very excited to receive the call from Haas F1 Team,” commented Magnussen.

I was looking in a different direction regarding my commitments for 2022 but the opportunity to return to compete in Formula 1, and with a team, I know extremely well, was simply too appealing. I really have to say thank you to both Peugeot and Chip Ganassi Racing for releasing me promptly both are great organizations.

In 2021, the Denmark native drove Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac prototype in the American IMSA sportscar championship.

In addition, he debuted at the NTT IndyCar Series with the Arrow McLaren SP team. And in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he shared driving duties behind the wheel of the High Class-Racing LMP2 car with his father Jan Magnussen and compatriot Anders Fjordbach.

In 2022, he signed with Peugeot Sport as part of a stellar seven-driver lineup to represent Team Peugeot TotalEnergies.

The manufacturer is returning to endurance racing to contest the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours with two hybrid prototypes.

After the deal with Haas was made public, the French outfit released an official statement, stressing: “We have taken note of Kevin Magnussen’s decision to return to Formula 1 and wish him all the best. He will be replaced within the Team Peugeot TotalEnergies.”

As we had done for the initial lineup, in addition to performance, our selection criteria is based on mindset and the ability to work as a team, to push and to motivate another is essential in our selection process and in endurance racing.”

We will once again look at our analysis of speed, consistency, and reliability. We remain focused on Jean-Eric (Vergne), Loic (Duval), Paul (di Resta), Mikkel (Jensen), Gustavo (Menezes), and James (Rossiter - development driver) and the development of the Peugeot 98 with our eye on our start in competition this summer.”

Magnussen will also be unavailable for the Sebring 12 Hours he would run with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Furthermore, he remarked:”Naturally, I also want to thank Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for the chance to resume my Formula 1 career. We’ve enjoyed a solid relationship, and our positive association remained even when I left at the end of 2020.”

I’ve been briefed as much as possible on the development of the VF-22 and the potential in the package. There’s work to do, but Im excited to be a part of it. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car in Bahrain.”

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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