SPORTS
Magnussen returns to Haas F1 team to replace Mazepin

Haas had been evaluating a number of candidates for the 2022 season, after deciding that it could not continue with Mazepin and Russian title sponsor Uralkali in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

While experienced racers like Antonio Giovinazzi and Nico Hulkenberg were strongly linked with the seat, Haas has elected to go back to its former driver Magnussen to be team-mate to Mick Schumacher on what has been described as a “multi-year” agreement.

Magnussen drove for the Haas team from 2017 to 2020, but the American owned outfit elected not to continue with him for last year as it wanted to pursue the development of rookies instead.

After losing his F1 seat, Magnussen switched to sportscars, primarily racing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship with Chip Ganassi Racing, and has been signed to Peugeot’s Le Mans Hypercar programme.

He also made his Le Mans 24 Hours debut alongside his father Jan last year, and was due for a return to this year’s event following confirmation that Peugeot will not race at Le Mans this year.

An agreement has now been reached with both Peugeot and Ganassi – with whom Magnussen was due to continue for the upcoming Sebring 12 Hours IMSA race – to allow him to take up the Haas seat.

Currently on his way to Bahrain to take part in this week’s final pre-season test, Magnussen said he was eager to get to work with his former team again.

“I was obviously very surprised but equally very excited to receive the call from Haas F1 Team,” the 29-year-old 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.

Magnussen took a best finish of fifth in his three seasons with Haas, at the 2018 Bahrain and Austrian Grands Prix

“I really have to say thank you to both Peugeot and Chip Ganassi Racing for releasing me promptly – both are great organisations.

“Naturally, I also 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 keen 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.”

Team boss Gunther Steiner said that it had been an easy decision to make to go for Magnussen, whose best F1 result is the second position he achieved on debut with McLaren in 2014.

“I’m delighted to welcome Kevin Magnussen back to Haas F1 team,” he explained.

“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.”

Source: Autosport.com

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