Haas has announced an unchanged driver lineup of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen in 2020, following negotiations with Nico Hulkenberg.
Team principal Guenther Steiner had openly admitted an interest in both Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon after the summer break, but the Frenchman was then signed by Renault to replace Hulkenberg. That left it as a straight choice between the German and Grosjean, with Haas announcing ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix that it would be retaining its current driver lineup next season.
“Experience, and the need for it, has been one of the cornerstones of Haas F1 Team, and with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen racing for the team in 2020, we continue to have a driver lineup that offers us a solid platform to continue our growth,” Steiner said. “Their understanding of how we work as a team, and our knowledge of what they can deliver behind the wheel, gives us a valued continuity and a strong foundation to keep building our team around.
“It’s been a tough year for us in 2019 with the fluctuation in performance of the VF-19, but our ability to tap into our combined experiences will help us learn, improve, and move forward as a unit in 2020.”
Haas will field the same driver lineup for the fourth straight season, with Grosjean having been part of the team since its debut season in F1 in 2016.
“I’ve always stated that it was my desire to remain with Haas F1 Team and keep building on the team’s accomplishments,” Grosjean said. “Having been here since the very beginning and seen the work both Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner put into the team to make it competitive, I’m naturally very happy to continue to be a part of that.
“To finish fifth in the constructors’ championship last season in only the team’s third year of competing was something very special. We’ve had our challenges this season, but we’ll use both the experience of last year and this year to move forward into 2020. I’m looking forward to working with Kevin and the whole team and continuing our journey together.”
Magnussen already had a multi-year contract in place, and while Haas is currently ninth in the constructors’ championship he is confident the team can turn the situation around next season.
“I’ve had the comfort of knowing I’d be continuing with the team in 2020 and that’s very much been a positive throughout what’s often been a difficult 2019 season,” Magnussen said. “Knowing we can work to make things better, improve our understanding of our situation, and get back to the level of competitiveness we showed last season — these are the things that excite me about 2020.
“We’re a team full of racers, led at the top by Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner. Nobody’s satisfied with how the 2019 season has played out, but the determination to turn things around is very much in evidence. I’m grateful the team have always believed in me and what I can bring to the table. We share a common goal and together with Romain, I’ll be giving it my all on-track for the remainder of this season and into 2020.”
The Haas announcement leaves Hulkenberg without a seat at this stage of the season, with Williams, Alfa Romeo and the Red Bull-owned teams yet to fully confirm their driver lineups.