American Haas F1 Team Announces Driver Shake Up

Romain Grosjean gets a new teammate for 2017.  

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Esteban Gutiérrez is out. Kevin Magnussen is in.

That’s the big news from Haas F1, the first American team in over three decades, currently nearing the end of its maiden season. Rumors that Gutiérrez, 25, would not be retained for next year had been circulating for some time. He confirmed his departure Thursday evening on social media. Haas officially announced the driver shake up, effective beginning next season, in a post on its website Friday.

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Kevin Magnussen, the newest Haas F1 driver, at Autódromo José Carlos Pace during the run-up to this weekend's Grand Prix of Brazil.

Magnussen, 24, is a former Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion, and currently races for Renault F1. He comes to Haas on a new two-year contract. As a rookie with McLaren in 2014, Magnussen showed flashes, managing second in his debut at the Australian Grand Prix. He managed a string of top-ten finishes, but didn’t podium again. He wound up in a reserve position after the team signed Fernando Alonso, and was eventually released. Magnussen returned to F1 this season, and has managed to pull two points finishes out of a dismally slow Renault car. He’ll pair with French driver Romain Grosjean, who has nabbed 29 points for Haas thus far.

Gutiérrez, meanwhile, has failed to score for Haas this season, despite coming in eleventh place on five occasions. He doesn’t seem very happy about being dropped, but says there’s “around 70 percent” chance he’ll find an F1 ride for 2017.