Magnussen returns to Haas as Mazepin replacement

Andy Hone/Motorsport Images

Magnussen returns to Haas as Mazepin replacement

Formula 1

Magnussen returns to Haas as Mazepin replacement

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Kevin Magnussen has returned to Haas as Nikita Mazepin’s replacement, signing a multi-year contract to come back to Formula 1.

The Dane raced for Haas from 2017 until 2020, but lost his seat when the team opted for drivers that also brought significant financial backing as it looked to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. After a year away where he was racing in IMSA and made his IndyCar debut, RACER understands Magnussen — who was contracted to Chip Ganassi Racing but also Peugeot’s new WEC project — was picked out as Haas’ first choice to replace Mazepin, who was dropped at the weekend.

“I was obviously very surprised but equally very excited to receive the call from Haas F1 Team,” Magnussen said. “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 want to thank Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for the chance to resume my Formula 1 career — I know just how competitive they both are and how been they are to return to competing week in and week out. 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 I’m excited to be a part of it. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car in Bahrain.”

Magnussen is already in Bahrain to begin his preparations after an agreement was reached with Peugeot to release him from his contract, but he won’t drive until Friday at the earliest. Despite the last-minute call, Steiner says Magnussen’s history with the team will allow him to push it forward quickly.

“I’m delighted to welcome Kevin Magnussen back to Haas F1 Team,” Steiner said. “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.

“Kevin was a key component in our previous successes — not least when we scored our best finishes in Formula 1 back in 2018. He continued to show last year that he’s an elite race car driver adding wins and podiums to his resume. As a veteran presence in both the garage and the engineering room, he’ll provide a solid benchmark for us with the on-going development of the VF-22. We’re all looking forward to welcoming Kevin back this week in Bahrain.”

Haas won’t run on Thursday morning at the Bahrain test due to a freight delay, with Fittipaldi carrying out duties in the afternoon once the team is ready to hit the track.

MX-5 CUP | ROUND 9 – ROAD AMERICA

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