Haas team principal Guenther Steiner released Kevin Magnussen at the end of 2020 – but their chatter has not stopped.
Magnussen was at peace with his exit, happy to leave Formula 1 and go in search of that winning feeling again which he had been without for so long.
But just because he is no longer with Haas does not mean he and Steiner are no longer in contact. Far from it.
Now competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Chip Ganassi Racing, Magnussen competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona alongside Renger van der Zande and six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.
That meant Van der Zande and Magnussen spent a lot of time together, but when the pair were out at a restaurant Steiner was making his presence known.
“I was having a bite to eat with Kevin in a restaurant. Günther was just Whatsapping him the whole time,” said Van der Zande when appearing on Paddockpraat, FORMULE 1 Magazine’s podcast.
“It was just chatter, in a nice way. It was like ‘yeah, Kevin, I saw today you got beaten by this guy and that guy! With a middle finger, so we all had to take a photo to give him the finger back!
“But the way you have seen him on TV and in Netflix’s Drive to Survive, that’s just how he is. He just sits around all day messing about.”
Magnussen looked set to be in the hunt for victory at Daytona before a puncture for Van der Zande with seven minutes to go ended those hopes.
Steiner has also admitted he remains in regular contact with Magnussen and Grosjean despite both no longer being on the Haas payroll.
“I even texted Romain earlier because I had to ask him something. I spoke to Kevin last weekend when he was in Daytona (for the 24-hour race). So I’m very happy for them,” he told Motorsport-Total.com.
“There was no dispute. Sure, they weren’t happy, but they weren’t unhappy either. They had a good time, we had a good time. All good things come to an end in life and that was one of them.”