written by Hugh Waring, Edited by Morgan Holiday
Danish driver Kevin Magnussen will return to Formula 1 as Mazepin’s replacement for the Haas F1 team. It is also confirmed that the Dane will test the 2022 car at this week's Bahrain test.
Following their exit at the end of the 2020 season, Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were replaced by rookies Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, due to the difficulties with funding that surrounded the team.
The news follows the the dropping of Mazepin last weekend, as the team parted ways with its Russian sponsor Uralkali, a key sponsorship for the Russian’s seat. This was a reaction to the war Russia has manufactured in Ukraine.
The announcement follows recent rumours that the second seat available at Haas was highly contested by drivers like Pietro Fittipaldi - who will take part in the first afternoon session at the Bahrain pre-season test. Giovinazzi, Hulkenberg, and Piastri were also on the list, however, the team has chosen the more experienced Magnussen to help develop the 2022 car that has vastly evolved following the season's regulation changes.
Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner was quoted that the decision to sign Magnussen was a “straightforward decision”.
“Kevin’s immediate availability means we can tap into him as a resource for pre-season testing alongside both Mick Schumacher and Pietro Fittipaldi,” said Steiner.
“Kevin was a key component in our previous successes – not least when we both 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 ongoing development of the VF-22.
“We’re all looking forward to welcoming Kevin back this week in Bahrain.”
Magnussen said he was “very surprised but equally very excited” to be approached to take up the F1 seat following his year sabbatical.
“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 said.
“I really have to say thank you to both Peugeot and Chip Ganassi Racing for releasing me promptly – both are great organisations.
“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 originally had a contract with Chip Ganassi Racing for the IMSA championship in 2021, and had signed with Peugeot for the 2022 Le Mans 24 Hours. However, in recent news, this return for the Peugeot was delayed. This in turn has allowed an opening for the Dane to make a shock return to Formula 1, signing a multi-year deal with the American team.
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