Surprise! Haas re-signs Kevin Magnussen for 2022
Well, who saw that coming? After dropping Nikita Mazepin and his Russian sponsors last week, Haas has re-employed Kevin Magussen to partner Mick Schumacher for 2022.
The smart money (not so clever, as it turns out) was on someone like recent F1-departee Antonio Giovinazzi or maybe the sport’s chief cameo maker Nico Hulkenberg to take up the empty seat, but instead Haas has returned to the driver it let go at the end of 2020 after four seasons with the team.
Since then Magnussen has seen success in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, where he scored a victory and several podium finishes for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype.
He also took on the 24 Hours of Le Mans with his father Jan, having promised that post-F1 he would only consider opportunities where he had the chance to race for wins. Perhaps he, er, didn’t catch any of the action from last season?
“I was obviously very surprised but equally very excited to receive the call from Haas F1 Team,” said Magnussen. “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 [which signed him for Le Mans 2022] and Chip Ganassi Racing for releasing me promptly – both are great organisations.
“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.”
Meanwhile, team principal Guenther Steiner had this to say: “I’m delighted to welcome Kevin Magnussen back to the 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 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.”
Can he repeat the feat with Haas in 2022? Stranger things have happened...
TEXT Joseph Holding