Motor Sports

Kevin Magnussen surprised to replace Mazepin as the Haas F1 driver

Kevin Magnussen replaces Nikita Mazepin as the Haas driver. Photo: Inside Sport
  • Dane Kevin Magnussen makes a shock return to Formula One and former Team Haas to replace Nikita Mazepin after the Russian driver was fired following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine  
  • Magnussen is surprised as the F1 Team Haas replaces him with the Russian Nikita Mazepin the direction he never thought while making his commitments concerning 2022 
  • The former Haas racer maintained a positive relationship with the team after leaving at the end of the season 2020 
  • Haas Team Boss is confident that Magnussen will deliver worth to the team and his quick availability will make him a useful resource to the pre-season testing. 

Haas has confirmed that Kevin Magnussen will replace Nikita Mazepin for the upcoming Formula One season. 

After parting ways with Russian racer Nikita Mazepin, the American team needed to find a new driver with less than two weeks until the season’s first race. 

Kevin Magnussen is excited to return to Haas. Photo: Auto Evolution

Mazepin was fired after the team’s relationship with title sponsor Uralkali – the fertilizer company co-owned by his billionaire father Dmitry – was terminated. 

Magnussen, 29, has signed a “multi-year contract arrangement,” according to Haas, and will drive in the official pre-season test in Bahrain from 10th to 12th March 2022. 

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

“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.” 

MAGNUSSEN DID NOT EXPECT TO BE NAMED BY HAAS TEAM TO REPLACE MAZEPIN

Steiner had recently stated that Brazilian reserve Pietro Fittipaldi would get the “first call” to replace Mazepin, 

 Which has led to Magnussen acknowledging that he was surprised to be making his F1 comeback after leaving Haas at the end of the 2020 season. 

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

He spent a year with McLaren in 2014 then replaced by Fernando Alonso the following year, before returning to the grid with Renault in 2016. 

Magnussen, who raced for Haas between 2017 and 2020 after stints with McLaren and Renault, has 119 career Formula One starts, including a podium finish on his debut in 2014. 

In 2018, he finished eighth in the driver world championship with Haas, a career-high. 

Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were released by Haas and replaced by Mazepin and Mick Schumacher at the start of the season. 

Mazepin’s future was already in doubt after Haas withdrew Uralkali. 

Kevin Magnussen replaces Mazepin

Russian Nikita Mazepin was fired by Haas and replaced by Magnussen. Photo: The Guardian

 A Russian potash producer, branding from their car on the final day of the Barcelona test following Russia’s February 24 invasion of neighboring Ukraine. 

Magnussen returns to the sport for the third time after taking a year off in 2021 due to the team’s decision to replace the Dane and teammate Romain Grosjean with rookies Mazepin and Schumacher. 

Magnussen had to negotiate contract extensions with two different endurance racing teams for this season: 

 Ganassi in the United States and Peugeot’s embryonic Le Man’s operation in Europe. 

“I actually must say thanks to each Peugeot and Chip Ganassi Racing for releasing me promptly – each are nice organizations”. Said Magnussen. 

Kevin Magnussen replaces Mazepin

Haas F1 Team Boss Guenther Steiner. Photo: Planet F1

“I have been briefed as a lot as doable on the event of the VF-22 [car] and the potential within the package deal. 

 There’s work to do however I am excited to be part of it. 

“ I am unable to wait to get again behind the wheel of a System 1 automotive in Bahrain.” 

The Dane, who stated that he has maintained a “positive association” with Haas after leaving at the end of 2020, 

“We’ve enjoyed a solid relationship and our positive association remained even when I left at the end of 2020”. 

 The relationship saw their approach as an opportunity to resurrect an F1 career that he had previously considered over. 

 One that never quite lived up to his expectations in his six years with the McLaren, Renault, and finally Haas team. 

HAAS BOSS CONFIDENT MAGNUSSEN WILL DELIVER

Haas team boss Gunther Steiner mentioned: “When searching for a driver who might deliver worth to the crew, to not point out a wealth of System 1 expertise, Kevin was an easy resolution for us. 

“Kevin’s quick availability means we will faucet into him as a useful resource for pre-season testing alongside each Mick Schumacher and [reserve driver] Pietro Fittipaldi.” 

 “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.” Added Steiner 

 

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