Haas F1 Team announced the return of Kevin Magnussen to their drive roster for the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship season and on a multi-year basis.
The 29-year-old Magnussen from Roskilde, Denmark, and the son of former F1 competitor, Jan, will compete alongside Mick Schumacher, who returns for a second full-time season at Haas, as he embarks in his first full-time Formula One season following his departure from the sport and the American team based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, at the conclusion of the 2020 season.
The news comes following Haas’ decision on Saturday, March 5, to terminate Nikita Mazepin’s contract that prevents the 23-year-old Russian from competing in Formula One and for the American team this upcoming season amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The team also terminated their title partnership with Uralkali, a Russian potash fertilizer producer that is owned by Mazepin’s father, Dmitry.
Haas’ decision in terminating their partnership with Mazepin occurred two days after Formula One terminated its contract with Russia with no intentions of running a Grand Prix in the country for this season and in the near future.
“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 really have to say thank you to both Peugeot and Chip Ganassi Racing for releasing me promptly – both are great organizations.”
“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,” Magnussen added. “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 no stranger to the Formula One grid. He made his F1 debut during the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, where he notched his lone podium result to date after finishing in second place while competing for the McLaren F1 Team. In doing so, he became the first Danish competitor to achieve an F1 podium result. After finishing in 11th place in the 2014 F1 drivers’ standings before becoming a test-and-reserve competitor for McLaren in 2015, Magnussen campaigned as a full-time F1 competitor for Renault Sport F1 Team in 2016, where he finished 16th in the final standings, before joining forces with Haas F1 Team in 2017.
From 2017 to 2020, where he made 79 starts with Haas, Magnussen recorded 21 top-10 points-scoring results and two best on-track results of fifth place in 2018, which occurred during the Bahrain Grand Prix in April and the Austrian Grand Prix in July. His best points result with the team occurred in 2018, where he notched a career-high 56 points and finished in a career-best ninth place in the drivers’ standings.
Following his departure from Haas in 2020 and prior to his return for the 2022 season, Magnussen competed in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship region in 2021 for Chip Ganassi Racing. He claimed his first win in the Detroit Grand Prix at The Raceway on Belle Isle in June and racked up four additional podiums before finishing in seventh place in the Drivers’ Daytona Prototype International (DPi) Championship standings. To go along with two consecutive 24 Hours of Daytona starts (2021 and 2022) and his first 24 Hours of Le Mans at France’s Circuit de la Sarthe in 2021, Magnussen made his NTT IndyCar Series debut at Road America in June as an interim competitor for Arrow McLaren SP, where he led six laps but finished 24th in the 25-car field due to a power issue.
Through 119 previous starts in Formula One, Magnussen has achieved one podium, 35 top-10 points-paying results, 158 points and an average-finishing result of 13.1.
“I’m delighted to welcome Kevin Magnussen back to Haas F1 Team,” Guenther Steiner, Team Principal of Haas F1 Team, 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 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.”
Magnussen will be participating in this weekend’s pre-season test session at Bahrain International Circuit (March 10-12) alongside Mick Schumacher and Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas’ test and reserve driver, before making his first Formula One start of this season at Bahrain for the 2022 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.