Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen Both Out at Haas F1 After 2020
The grid's lone American team will have an all-new driver lineup next season.
The American Haas F1 Team has announced that after five and four years in partnership, respectively, it's parting ways with both Frenchman Romain Grosjean and Denmark's Kevin Magnussen at the conclusion of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Following 11 races, Haas is currently second-to-last in the Constructors' Championship, having collected just three points to beat Williams at its lowest.
Having joined for 2016, Grosjean started out by scoring Haas F1's first points with a sixth-place finish at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. He followed up with a fifth the next time out in Bahrain. Magnussen landed at Haas in 2017 and achieved 11 top 10 finishes out of 21 races with his VF-18 two years ago. His best so far has been a pair of fifth-place finishes in Bahrain and Austria.
Team principal Guenther Steiner had this to say about their move towards a completely new driver lineup in 2021:
"I want to extend my thanks to both Romain and Kevin for their hard work and commitment to Haas F1 Team over the past few seasons. Romain was a fundamental part of our establishment as we sought to get a driver on board with both speed and experience. His results in early 2016 were a just reward, not only for his own talent but also for the sheer amount of effort the team had put in to be on the grid that season. When Kevin joined a season later, we saw an immediate return with both cars scoring points, and of course, our first double points finish in Monaco that year. We have a lot of good memories together—in particular our 2018 season when we finished fifth in the standings in only our third season. Romain and Kevin played a significant part in that success. Of course, there is still plenty of racing left in the 2020 season. It’s been a challenging year, no doubt about that, but both drivers have given their all behind the wheel of the VF-20. We value their inputs and experience to keep pushing the team forward through to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December."
On his Facebook page, Grosjean wrote:
"The last chapter is closed and the book is finished. I've been with Haas F1 Team since day 1. Five years during which we went through highs and lows, scored 110 points in 92 races, but the journey was worth it. I've learned a lot, improved to be a better driver as well as a better man. I hope I’ve also helped people in the team to improve themselves. This is probably my biggest pride, more than any of the crazy first races in 2016 or the P4 at the Austrian GP 2018. I wish the team all the best for the future."
Magnussen used a similar tone to comment:
"The 2020 season will be my last with Haas F1 Team. I have had a great time with the team for four years and I look back at a great journey. Being part of a brand new team has been a challenge that I have thoroughly enjoyed and it has brought me a huge amount of experience that has helped me grow and develop as a racing driver. I would like to thank Gene, Guenther and all of the race team for their loyalty and trust in me over the past four years. I am still working on my plans for the future, which I will announce in due course. There are still six races to do this season, and I am determined to give my all to finish off on a high."
This suggests that Magnussen already knows where he would land for next season, leaving the bigger question mark hanging over Grosjean's head. While the French driver has been simulator testing for Formula E, in Formula 1, the only unconfirmed seats for 2021 remain at Alfa Romeo and Red Bull. Haas will announce its future pair at a later date.
One wild guess remains for now: Could Grosjean land in the middle of Peugeot's Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) project? After all, he did race a Ford GT1 at Le Mans some ten years ago...
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