Kevin Magnussen Returns to Haas F1 Team To Replace Nikita Mazepin
Magnussen has signed a multi-year contract with Haas, so this isn’t just some temporary solution.
Kevin Magnussen will rejoin the Haas Formula 1 team in an unexpected yet seemingly triumphant return following troubled driver Nikita Mazepin's departure. This doesn't appear to be just a temporary solution, either, but rather a long-term one.
Magnussen has signed a multi-year contract with Haas, according to a team press release, and is scheduled to drive the Haas VF-22 car tomorrow (for the first time) during pre-season testing in Bahrain.
The news comes after Haas previously said it will miss the beginning of F1 testing in Bahrain due to a freight delay. It's some good timing on Haas' part, then, to get a driver in one of its seats just days before the first grand prix of the 2022 season. Its hand was perhaps forced by already having a custom seat fitted for Magnussen, but in any case, he should be a worthy replacement for Mazepin.
Mazepin and his teammate Mick Schumacher—son of racing legend Michael Schumacher—were expected to be the team's pair of drivers for multiple years to come. However Mazepin, noteworthy for his poor driving performance and the perception that he bought his way into F1, had his contract terminated by Haas on Saturday following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. He and his father Dmitry Mazepin have since been formally sanctioned by the EU on account of the family's connections to the Russian Federation's president, Vladimir Putin. Dmitry Mazepin is an immensely wealthy Russian oligarch and a partial owner in Uralkali, a fertilizer company and Haas' former sponsor.
Magnussen previously drove under a four-year contract for the Haas F1 team soon after it began racing in 2017; however, he was replaced in 2020 along with his teammate Romain Grosjean. Before that, he drove for McLaren and Renault. His race record puts him in the middle of the road as far as F1 drivers go. At his debut race in Australia in 2014, he landed on the podium. However, he's since only been able to finish as high as fifth in the years following. During his brief absence from F1, Magnussen competed in sports car racing and a single Indycar race in June 2021.
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