Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

All change at Haas for 2021 as Magnussen confirms he will also leave

2021 F1 season

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Kevin Magnussen has joined team mate Romain Grosjean in confirming he will not drive for Haas next year.

Grosjean announced this morning he will not drive for Haas in 2021. Magnussen has now confirmed he will also leave the team.

“The 2020 Formula 1 season will be my last with Haas F1 Team,” said Magnussen. “I have had a great time with the team for four years and I look back at a great journey.”

Magnussen joined the team in 2017, the second year Haas had competed in Formula 1.

“Being part of a brand new team has been a challenge that I gave thoroughly enjoyed and it has brought me a huge amount of experience that has helped me grow and develop as a racing driver,” he continued.

Magnussen thanked team owner Gene Haas and team principal Guenther Steiner “for their loyalty and trust in me over the past four years”. Haas was the first F1 team Magnussen spent more than a single season racing for.

“I am still working on my plans for the future, which I will announce in due course.

“There are still six races to do this season, and I am determined to give my all to finish off on a high. Thank you all for your support.”

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Steiner thanked both for “their hard work and commitment to Haas F1 Team over the past few seasons.”

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“Romain was a fundamental part of our establishment as we sought to get a driver onboard with both speed and experience,” said Steiner. “His results in early 2016 were a just reward, not only for his own talent, but also for the sheer amount of effort the team had put in to be on the grid that season.

“When Kevin joined a season later, we saw an immediate return with both cars scoring points, and of course, our first double points finish in Monaco that year. We have a lot of good memories together – in particular our 2018 season when we finished fifth in the standings in only our third season. Romain and Kevin played a significant part in that success.

“Of course, there is still plenty of racing left in the 2020 season. It’s been a challenging year, no doubt about that, but both drivers have given their all behind the wheel of the VF-20. We value their inputs and experience to keep pushing the team forward through to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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60 comments on “All change at Haas for 2021 as Magnussen confirms he will also leave”

  1. Bold move from Haas to get rid of their two established drivers (although in fairness you have to say that having two experienced heads hasn’t done much to move them forward over the last four years).

    I wonder if one of the seats will go to someone with recent F1 experience, as it would be a big gamble to go with two rookies.

    1. I’d guess they might be going for a Ferrari rookie and maybe Perez? Or indeed with a completely new line up @red-andy which might bring some excitement for next year

      1. Agreed. It makes total sense
        Perez and Mick
        Perez because of $$$$$, and he is a driver that, giving him a decent equipment, he can deliver good results. Also, he is a very experienced driver, so he can help to develop a car, but I do not know how good he is giving good feedback to the engineers.
        Little Schumacher because Ferrari supplies the engine to Haas and he is part of Ferrari’s young driver program, so they would like to develop their driver.

      2. Also, I’d love to watch Russel in a better equipment.
        I’ve been watching the new generation that is coming to F1: Max was a nice surprise taking into account his previous results in other categories. I am not saying that being champion in lower categories ensure their success, but it is a good “educated” guess. We have also Lecrerc. OMG, the level of maturity and speed this guy showed on his first year was impressive. He just owned a way far more experienced driver (Marcus Ericsson), who is not bad at all. Then Sainz Jr. Also great maturity, few mistakes. Gasly, I think he got his confidence back. And for last, Lando and Russel. I have high hopes for those last 2.
        Hopefully the new regulations on 2022 level the equipment a little. Mercedes is just kicking everybody’s asses

    2. « Big gamble to go with two rookies »
      Especially if they go for Mazepin and Schumacher, no stellar yet.

      Anyway, Magnussen seemed consistent with what he had to drive and I quite liked his ‘elbows-out’ driving style..

    3. I think this is a mistake from Haas. In my opinion, both Grosjean and Magnussen are underrated, as they were both good before they joined Haas, and the car is probably slower than people think. Both make too many errors, but that will be the same with Mazepin and Schumacher, as they are both rookies. As experienced drivers, Grosjean and Magnussen are surely better at developing the car than Mazepin and Schumacher. Mick does have the potential to be a far better driver than either of these two, but from Haas’ perspective, as soon as that happens Ferrari will take him. I think Haas should have kept Grosjean or Magnussen as a teammate to a rookie, preferably Schumacher as the most likely F2 champion, as he will progress better with an experienced driver as his teammate, as well as all the above reasons. With the current drivers definitely leaving, that will hopefully be Perez or Hulkenberg.

      1. I agree and that’s why I did not expect to see either driver leave for 2021, but they are looking a pay driver. Mazepin has all that Putin cash which can help the team wait through a probably unsuccessful 2021. I hope they do pick up mick Schumacher over a second pay driver.
        I thought the cost caps would reduce the number of pay drivers on the grid, but Haas is in a tight spot.

  2. Those reports on other sites yesterday that Haas is expected to announce its 2021 driver line-up for next year before Portimão seem to be correct.

    1. Kevin stops at Haas (Ekstra Bladet)
      “The team is expected to announce the break before this weekend’s Grand Prix at Portimão in southern Portugal”

  3. All the best to both Grosjean and Magnussen, they both had their qualities. I will be seriously surprised if Haas doesn’t sign at least one experienced pilot, be it Pérez, Hulkenberg or say Kubica. Line-up consiting of two rookies would be counterproductive and I believe Mick Schumacher would have better career prospects at Alfa Romeo.

    1. Jose Lopes da Silva
      22nd October 2020, 10:41

      I’m afraid Kubica is more than finished for F1. He is dead last at DTM.

  4. I really hope the lineup is Hulk/Perez and Schumacher. I do not want to see Nikita Mazepin in F1, he’s just a far worse version of Magnussen.

    1. From the news I’ve seen the person you don’t want is going to be in one of those seats…

    2. @mashiat I do like the idea of Hulk & Schumacher but doubt it will happen. Why get rid of Grosjean or Magnussen only to replace them with Hulk?

      1. @tomcat173 Maybe because Hulk is a far superior driver to both? Just ask Palmer.

        1. Money is the key, Hulk wound’t bring much to the team

  5. Well he’s given us some entertainment: he more than showed his potential whilst at Mclaren and demonstrated his speed on more than one occasion at Haas too. Sometimes the feistiness paid off, sometimes it was just hot-headedness he should have grown out of (Verstappen managed to do so much sooner). Pretty sure he’ll make an impression elsewhere but I’m pleased we’re going to see big changes at Haas, and in a year when the cars won’t change much from this year.

  6. Checo and a rookie i feel.

    Good move by Haas. 2 years too late though. I remember the 2018 to 2019 silly season being one with lot of change. So much that only Merc and Haas didn’t change their drivers. Merc was understandable, but Haas? Finally, they have done it.

  7. Fun fact: Steiner turned down Leclerc for 2019 and preferred to hang onto Kev and Grosj. Strange but true.
    Schumacher and Perez: now you’re talking.

    1. This team has been mismanaged for quite some time.

      1. That seems to be an understatement

  8. Russell to Hass?
    Might that work?

    1. I don’t see Haas switching to Merc engines anytime in the next few months.

  9. Was never a fan but I felt like he was quick. Unfulfilled potential.

  10. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    22nd October 2020, 9:50

    KMag would be an interesting wild card to stick beside Max for a year. He’s great off the line and won’t be intimidated.
    Hulk is a safe bet, but who knows what Kevin could achieve in a decent car.
    He’s outdriven his buckets on a good few occasions through the years, but he’s had plenty of dud weekends too.

    1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
      22nd October 2020, 10:09

      who knows what Kevin could achieve in a decent car

      The 2014 McLaren was decent-ish (certainly better than most of the cars Magnussen has driven since), and we saw exactly what he could do: other than his debut in Australia, not much.

      He ended up with less than half the points tally of his teammate. Granted, Magnussen was a rookie, and his teammate was Jenson Button, but the fact is, Magnussen should have been a lot closer. Were he to join Red Bull for next season, Max would absolutely obliterate him.

      Magnussen had his chance to prove himself, and he has proven beyond all reasonable doubt that he will never be truly successful in Formula 1. He’s just not good enough often enough. Now it’s time for someone else to get a chance.

      1. The 2014 McLaren was decent-ish

        It was the slowest of the 4 Mercedes powered cars that season.

        1. @geemac

          But still faster than at least 5 other teams that season.

          1. 2 of whom don’t exist anymore… :)

      2. I think the team are making a good move. The current line up was stale; next year’s car isn’t going to be a great leap forward if they’re keeping the basic chassis and, reading between the lines, drivers are bringing budgets for 2 year contracts. Taking someone else’s cash & using it to develop 2022 car seems a good idea to me. Just remember Mark Webber’s “F1 isn’t a finishing school” 2007 comment if Haas do take 2 rookies.

      3. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        22nd October 2020, 10:28

        Yeah he wasn’t close enough to Button in ’14 on the points table, but by all accounts it wasn’t a straight forward decision to drop him instead of Button, with them taking to November to decide who to go with, so they saw something they liked.
        As I see it, Max is going to obliterate anyone in the other side of the garage. The choice facing RB is to choose the driver who will be obliterated the least.
        On paper that seems to be the Hulk, but he’s had even more chances.

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          22nd October 2020, 10:32

          On paper that seems to be the Hulk

          This is assuming Perez is going to Williams

        2. I’d add “mentally” between the words “be” and “obliterated” in your 2nd last sentence.

          That’s why I thought Kimi would be the man for the job (in fantasy F1 land): he’d just get on with it.

          They either need to stick with Albon or realise that the young driver scheme is finished & find an experienced hand. It could be any driver: let’s put names on a wheel & spin: no one outside of RB knows.

          Grosjean has been talking himself out of F1 for the last couple of years (“I’ll do DTM or WEC; I’m not doing Indy etc.”) so any 2013 “peaks” are outdated.

  11. Fok smashed a door too many to keep around

  12. New lineup will be Schumacher and Mazepin (if he gets a superlicense), I see them at the buttom next year.

  13. He was average at Mclaren and hasn’t really done anything of note at Haas. Good to see his seat offered up to another driver.

    1. Honestly.. can’t say I’m going to miss Magnussen at all. He never really impressed me outside of hist first race in F1. He was a driver that hit his peak in mediocrity. I really doubt he’d get any better than he is currently performing.

      I’m going to miss Grosjean though.. from 2012 to 2017 he’s showed glimpses of brilliance and even mixed it up with the front runners from time to time. His downturn in form though has been spectacular.. and I doubt he’ll add any value to the grid by hanging around for much longer.

      1. So Magnussens DOTD at Sochi in 16 was nothing? Him running 4th and putting Verstappen on his tail in Australia 18 and would have been best of the rest that season if not for the wheelnut issue. If he was only mediocre, why does he have some of the best overtakes highlight.
        And his current form is done with older parts.

        You seem like someone who only watch the front ranks and lack the back knowledge of why people perform the way they do.

  14. Also unsurprising. I expect the next line up to be either Mick-Mazepin or Giovinazzi-Mazepin (assuming the latter becomes eligible for a super license.) Alternatively, could be Gio-Illot/Schwarzman or Mick-the same two as in the previous. I don’t see Perez or Hulkenberg voluntarily going to a team among the three slowest at present.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      22nd October 2020, 10:38

      I half expected Shwartzman to win the F2 in his rookie year this year, but now I think he needs another year there.
      I still think his ceiling is higher than Mick or Ilott, but I don’t think he’s ready for the jump yet.

  15. I wouldn’t be surprised if they picked up Giovinazzi from Alfa Romeo to make way for Schumacher to be partnered with Kimi. Then Perez is a good bet in the other seat and Haas has the experience they need to push them up the grid.

    1. Why should Haas pickup Alfa rejects. Its not like Giovinazzi have been performing or looked better than either Haas driver.

  16. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    22nd October 2020, 10:25

    What’s the most number of driver changes in a season? Surely 2020 has to be among the top 3

      1. Never expected it to be that many ;)

  17. If Haas want to progress especially going into the 2022 rule changes it’s hard to look past Perez and Hulk. Schumacher will probably go to Alfa and they’ll drop Giovinazzi in my opinion.

    Unfortunately money talks so Mazepin will probably get the seat and hopefully they take Hulk as he’s proven he deserves a seat in F1 with his super sub performances this year.

  18. For sure it’s going to be Schumacher and Hulk/Perez, likely Perez due to North American appeal, the fact he performs (as does Hulk) and funding

  19. I think Steiner should be going too – leads with heart too much in a thinking mans sport.

    GJ and Kmag should have bern dropped in 2018 – or at least Kevin.

    Hopefully they’ll employ Perez and Schumacher!

    1. So Haas should have dropped their best driver in 18 after he solidly smashed his teammate and could have been best of the rest, if not for the teams mistake in Australia… That makes sense.

  20. Long overdue… these guys were going nowhere, except into each other.

    My favourite for one of the seats would be Checo, I think he’ll do wonders at Haas. He’s great at developing the car, faster than GRO or MAG, plus very experienced to keep it clean. For Haas it would also be a win-win, a better driver that brings in solid sponsors…

    1. The only marker we have about Perez vs Magnussen is from when Magnussen got Perez seat at McLaren due to more raw speed.

      The rest is your illusion of Perez being faster due to being at a better team. Perez is a better driver in my own opinion, but faster? I wouldnt venture that guess.

      1. Remember team bosses aren’t always right and replacing a driver doesn’t mean the replacement is better: ferrari wanted raikkonen at all costs in 2006, even at the cost of losing schumacher since he left cause they got rid of his friend massa, then raikkonen only barely won one title in 2007 instead of both, and more tellingly this year the announcement of vettel replacing perez, when his current form has been so horrible he’s performed far worse than perez.

  21. Strange to change both at once….
    Has the team been given notice by Gene Haas? Last chance to get some results or it’s lights out, maybe?

    For sale: F1 team. Manufacturing facilities not included. $200m

  22. Haas has already written of 2021, they want the drivers bringing most cash, and focusing on 2022 car

  23. Good riddance. Magnusson didn’t really improve but got dirtier and stubborn over the years. A fresh start with new exciting driver lineup at Haas is refreshing.

  24. Its going to be Mazepin and a Ferrari driver (Mick most likely). Stop with the Perez/Hulk nonsense, they are not going to Haas.

  25. Perez, Magnusson, Grosjean and Hulkenberg are all at a similar level in my book and they’ve all had a number of years in F1 without proving their value to the top teams so I’ll be glad to see all of them make way for the next generation that is sorely needed. F1 needs to shed some of the chaff, there is a couple of other names that can be added to those too but I doubt a refresh of 7 drivers in a year could happen. Unfortunately I can see Perez still around next year due to the money he brings, the others, not so much.

    I do appreciate some of these drivers have their fans, it’s not a personal affront to your favorite driver, just my opinion.

    1. When I defend perez it’s not cause I’m his fan, it’s just that it’s baffling he’s been replaced by vettel, a driver who lives in the past and has shown literally no performance in recent times.

      Before anyone criticizes ferrari, if people are able to say magnussen and grosjean are bad despite the bad haas, people can say vettel is bad, despite bad ferrari!

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