2022 has seen the Haas Formula 1 team evolve as much off-track as it has on track. The complications brought about by the Ukraine-Russia conflict has seen them drop a sponsor and a driver; all before the official pre-season test taking place this week in Bahrain. With Nikita Mazepin being shown the door many expected reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi to fill the seat, especially as he was scheduled to take part on the first day of testing. However, Haas has announced the return of one of their 2020 drivers, Kevin Magnussen.
Magnussen had left Haas at the end of the 2020 season; when they signed the rookie duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. In his time away from F1, Magnussen kept his skills sharp competing in the American IMSA Sportscar Championship with Chip Ganassi Racing. During that maiden campaign, he managed to secure one win and four podium finishes. That 2021 season also saw him race alongside his father, Jan, in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 category as well as a one-off IndyCar outing with Arrow Mclaren SP.
Gunther Steiner on Magnussen’s return
“I’m delighted to welcome Kevin Magnussen back to Haas F1 Team,” commented Guenther Steiner, Team Principal of Haas F1 Team. “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.”
Steiner continued; “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 on-going development of the VF-22. We’re all looking forward to welcoming Kevin back this week in Bahrain.”