Magnussen was ‘very surprised’ by Haas call

Jamie Woodhouse
Kevin Magnussen in a Haas polo. Bahrain, December 2020.

Kevin Magnussen walks through the paddock in a Haas polo. Bahrain, December 2020.

Haas’ offer of a Formula 1 return caught Kevin Magnussen by surprise, but he gladly accepted the opportunity.

An unexpected vacancy opened up at Haas following their decision to part ways with Nikita Mazepin in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

And just one day before the start of pre-season testing in Bahrain, Haas announced that Magnussen would return to the team as Mazepin’s replacement.

Magnussen left the team at the end of 2020, concluding a four-season stint, and he had not been expecting a call to come back.

But when that call came, it was “simply too appealing” to turn down.

“I was obviously very surprised but equally very excited to receive the call from Haas F1 Team,” Magnussen said.

“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 organisations.

“Naturally, I also want to thank Gene Haas [team owner] and Guenther Steiner [principal] 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.

“We’ve enjoyed a solid relationship and our positive association remained even when I left at the end of 2020.

“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.”

 

Steiner added: “I’m delighted to welcome Kevin Magnussen back to 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’s immediate availability means we can tap into him as a resource for pre-season testing alongside both Mick Schumacher and Pietro Fittipaldi.

“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.

“As a veteran presence in both the garage and the engineering room, he’ll provide a solid benchmark for us with the on-going development of the VF-22. We’re all looking forward to welcoming Kevin back this week in Bahrain.”