Kevin Magnussen has been signed to a multi-year agreement with the Haas Formula 1 Team, replacing Nikita Mazepin.
Haas has revealed that Russian driver Nikita Mazepin has been replaced by Danish racer Kevin Magnussen, who has secured a return to Formula 1 with the same team he parted ways with back in 2020.
This comes after the Haas F1 Team announced last weekend that they would be parting ways with their title sponsor, Uralkali, and the driver that came with that deal, Nikita Mazepin as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The decision had been expected since Haas withdrew all sponsorship labels and colors for the final day of the Barcelona pre-season testing in February, given the sanctions imposed on Russia and the fact that Mazepin’s father, one of the owners of Uralkali, has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Since Mazepin’s departure from Haas the big question was who will partner Mick Schumacher for the rest of the season. Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas’ reserve driver, had been announced for the second test, but now he and Schumacher will be joined in Bahrain by Kevin Magnussen who will be making a return to Formula 1.
Magnussen retired from Formula One at the conclusion of 2020 after seven years on the grid, the last four of which he spent with Haas. Since then, he has competed in the American IMSA SportsCar championship with Chip Ganassi Racing. Last year, the Danish driver and his teammates took five podiums, including a triumph in the series’ highest class, the Daytona Prototype International.
Magnussen was set to continue in the American endurance racing series after competing in the first round at the 24 Hours of Daytona in late January, and he was also set to race Le Mans Hypercars for Peugeot in the World Endurance Championship this year, but he has now been released from both contracts and has signed a multi-year deal with Haas.
“I’m delighted to welcome Kevin Magnussen back to Haas F1 Team,” Haas team boss Guenther Steiner 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’s immediate availability means we can tap into him as a resource for pre-season testing alongside both Mick Schumacher and Pietro Fittipaldi.”
“Pietro’s going to be first in this week with half a day’s running at the test on Thursday – that’s a great opportunity for him, with Mick and Kevin doing the rest ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.”
Magnussen added: “I was obviously very surprised but equally very excited to receive the call from Haas.”
“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.”
“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.”