Haas announce Magnussen as second race driver for 2022

2022 F1 season

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Haas have confirmed that Kevin Magnussen will race for them for the 2022 season in the seat vacated by Nikita Mazepin.

The move follows the team’s decision to terminate its sponsorship agreement with Uralkali, whom Mazepin’s father Dmitry is CEO of, and drop Mazepin as a race driver as a result of consequences from the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

The decision to recall Magnussen, who last drove for the team in 2020, comes despite Haas team principal Guenther Steiner previously suggesting that the team’s reserve driver, Pietro Fittipaldi, would have “first call” on a race seat should Mazepin lose his role in the team.

Magnussen will step into the Haas VF-22 for the first time this week at the second pre-season test in Bahrain. The three day test, which begins tomorrow, will be the final opportunity for all ten F1 teams to prepare for the opening race of the 2022 season, taking place the following weekend in Bahrain.

He previously drove for the team between 2017 and 2020. Prior to that he also raced for McLaren and Renault, scoring a podium for the former on his debut in the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.

Rehiring Magnussen was a “straightforward decision”, said Steiner. “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 said he was “very surprised but equally very excited” to be recalled by his former team. He had deals in place to race in the WEC with Peugeot and IMSA with Ganassi this year.

“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 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. 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.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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83 comments on “Haas announce Magnussen as second race driver for 2022”

  1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
    9th March 2022, 17:57

    I can honestly say that I did not see this coming.

    Hopefully the car will be considerably better than the last Haas he drove.

    1. I saw this suggested on planet f1 earlier today and thought it was just their usual declaring something fact when it is just a rumour, but it seems in this case they got it absolutely right. I too didn’t see this coming at all, and as a known quantity he will give us a much better indication as to how good Mick Schumacher really is. I’m very pleased to see Magnussen return, he will give Haas the experience they need.

      1. Indeed both drivers make a fresh start in a brand new car. So it’s very nice to compare the two drivers.
        Schumi is no longer a rookie and magnussen is a known quantity.

    2. +1 – I would have put my $ on Antonio G

    3. I also admit to be very surprised by this announcement!

  2. Nothing to lose for K-Mags I suppose. And Haas get at least a reliable pilot for the season.

  3. I recollect Keith’s thorough response in one of the end of the year 2020 poll articles about which driver should come back to the sport and has most unfinished business.

    Looks like your prayers have been answered :)

    1. I would say that was Hulkenburg regarding unfinished business.

    2. I had actually forgotten that one! Thanks for the reminder.

      Here it is:

      The driver who I think most deserves a chance to return out of this seven is Magnussen. In qualifying he showed up well against Grosjean, whose one-lap pace has always been strong, and his race pace and race craft are both very solid. He’s spent much of his career in uncompetitive cars, and it’s a shame it appears to be over this early.

      He didn’t win the poll, though…


  4. I got the impression that Magnussen and Grosjean were hamstrung by a car that looked brutally unstable at the rear prior to 2021, which Mazepin and Schumacher also seemed to have difficulty taming. Wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Magnussen much further up the grid if the team has produced a more stable car, and it’ll be interesting to see how Schumacher compares to him. A much more competitive driver line-up.

  5. Honestly speaking, a solid enough choice for Haas. He knows everybody at the team and the factory well enough, so he can get straight down to what he has to do. This is still the guy who just about beat Palmer 11-8 in qualifying with an average gap of 0.052 seconds, but he will definitely still be a solid barometer up against Mick. Could also potentially be make-or-break for Mick now that he has a known quantity next to him.

    What I don’t quite understand, why not give him the extra half-day in testing? Any laps are extremely invaluable for him. Mick can test Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, with Magnussen then taking over for Friday afternoon and Saturday. Seems a waste to have Pietro in the car for half a day, but I guess Haas probably feels they owe him after overlooking him for the seat.

    1. Remember that after the sommer break, Renault changed how the car handle. Think it’s was something with the steering and the wheel. The setup didn’t work with KMag and he wanted to change it back. But wasn’t allowed too, because Renault already, by then, wanted another driver for the following season.
      So try and see the stats before the sommerbreak instead.

    2. Lets see if Haas is able to test on day one. For now there is a lot of bad luck.

  6. RandomMallard
    9th March 2022, 18:06

    Both surprised and not particularly surprised. A very good driver and someone with 6 seasons (I think?) of F1 experience, as well as knowing the team well having driven for them for four seasons. Makes sense in that regard I think, and probably a more cautious choice than Fittipaldi really.

  7. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    9th March 2022, 18:08

    Never saw that coming. Magnussen/Schumacher’s a good lineup.

  8. Seems like it’ll be a good yard stick to measure Schumacher against this season.

  9. He’ll be in the top 10 of the RaceFans driver rankings for 2022. Guaranteed.

    1. Doesn’t seem guaranteed at all to me, especially with what I expect will still be a bad car.

  10. I’m assuming his sponsors will return, too?

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      9th March 2022, 18:33

      I’d say Jack & Jones will be back yeah.
      Put some much needed text on the Haas

  11. I’m surprised he went back on his previous words about not wanting to return for merely making up numbers, but only in a top team. Maybe returning itself was ‘too appealing,’ but consistently running towards the back probably isn’t.

    1. CheeseBucket
      9th March 2022, 19:39

      Hes not going back on his word, biggest shake up in regs for 40 years. Anything could happen.

      1. @CheeseBucket, Yes biggest, & biggest ever, but Haas certainly won’t win a single race.

  12. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    9th March 2022, 18:13

    Shame, was really looking forward to seeing him in that stunning beaty of a Peugeot. But hey:

    K-MAG IS BACK! Heck yeah!

    1. …but that’s why he’s available! Wonder if the Peugeot (and Kevin) will appear in a later WEC round, maybe with a large, hastily-designed rear wing.

  13. “The rest of my career will be only racing with a hope of winning,” he told RACER. “Whatever I do, I’m not going to go into anything if I know I can’t win, never again.”

    Is there anyone honest left in motorsport?

    1. Changing one’s mind is not dishonesty.

      1. @armchairexpert @kerrymaxwell
        Changing indeed isn’t the same as being dishonest, but still surprising.
        @dmw Your prediction will surely age well.

      2. When questioned about whether he would accept a drive with an F1 midfield team if it was offered, Magnussen said: “No, I’ve been there, done that. “I was there for seven years and I enjoyed it most of the time, but sporting-wise, as an athlete it wasn’t rewarding enough to be in the position I was in.

        What an extraordinary “change of mind” in space of 30 days since he uttered these words. He’s as trustworthy as the rest of the clowns in the circuit then.

        1. That’s why he is a f1 driver and you an armchair expert :) .

        2. I really love it when commentators self-own so perfectly. And here I thought that we were finally living in a post-ironic age. Armchair expert indeed, lol!

        3. I really have to agree, 30 days is not changing your mind, it’s not being honest.

          1. Every other driver interview is dishonest by this standard.

            Would it be good for his career to announce that he would jump on any F1 seat with only a moment’s notice? And with the rules change it’s not impossible that he will have the opportunity to fight for points most races albeit unlikely especially considering the first test.

        4. But there’s a very big difference between the hypothetical and a real life scenario. I think most drivers at any level of motorsport would accept an F1 seat if the opportunity arose seemingly out of nowhere.

    2. Kevin Magnussen 2022 F1 WDC. Greetings from the future.

    3. someone or something
      9th March 2022, 19:21

      Nah, it’s just the kind of attitude that most drivers develop once they reach a level where F1 becomes a possibility. If they don’t get a seat, F1 is overrated anyway, and IndyCar/Formula E/WEC/dirt bike racing is so much more authentic and original. If they lose a seat, it’s fine, because it’s not a driver’s championship anyway, all that matters is your car, and everyone is so fake, and all that PR is so tiresome, so good riddance. IndyCar/Formula E/WEC/lawn mower racing is where it’s really at.

      Also every IndyCar/Formula E/WEC/banger racing driver with a superlicense or half a chance of ever getting one, once a Formula 1 team is seriously interested in their sponsors, I mean talent: instantly wetting themselves from excitement.
      I wouldn’t single out K-Mag for this, it’s all of them.

      1. Exactly, I probably would have put it differently haha but you’re right. It’s a coping mechanism for disappointment. I’m sure we all do it when we get rejected after a job interview.

    4. Well, notice the details. I think the answer can be found there.

      A small thing – Hass used all 2021 to develop the 2022 car. They _could_ potentially have a good season like 2018. Could it be even better… (but no way near winning as MAG stated would be required).

      A large thing. It is a multiyear deal. This is hugely valued be drivers. Dialogue could have been. “We would like for you to come back – interested?” Naeh, not expextably a winning car. “We have invested all 2021 in the new car and have x, y and z coming from ferrari because of the budget cap AND we can make it a multiyear deal”. -> Okay, let’s look at that.

      It does bring MAG back on the grid. And that is the foremost best place to be to be visible to other teams.

  14. I feel bad for Guenther Steiner. Now that there’s a cost cap in F1 he’s gonna have to budget for the cost of replacing fok-smashed doors throughout the year.

    1. Better doors than cars!

  15. A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.

  16. I see it as a vote of confidence in the design. He didn’t have to come back to run around the back of the grid. If the car was going to be trash I think he would not have come back.

  17. Nice. Great news! Welcome back K-Mag!

  18. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    9th March 2022, 18:29

    Yessss sweet!

  19. Welcome back K-Mag!

  20. Nice, one of a very few drivers with an actual character (likable or not, I guess that’s individual). Certainly more interesting choice than a Fitippaldi, I’d say Giovinazzi too. In any case, now we’ll at least have a decent benchmark for Schumacher Jr., not the fastest guy out there, but at least competent, not just competitive.

  21. Safe choice for Steiner having previously obtained that extra door from Mazepin.

  22. Well I am quite surprised. I saw stories this morning saying that Hulkenberg and Magnussen were under consideration but I thought it was just idle speculation about who was available at least. I didn’t expect them to recall Kevin though.

    I can see it makes quite good sense or them but I do feel a bit sorry for Fittipaldi. I feel they could have given him the chance of a few races at least. But I can see that Magnussen is probably the safer bet. Interesting that it is talked of as being a multi-year contract as well. This is from the BBC website.

  23. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    9th March 2022, 18:40

    just what

    Oh well, anyway. I can see him do better than Fittipaldi or Mazepin.

  24. This is good. For Haas and for Magnussen.

    Hoping the Haas car is better.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      9th March 2022, 20:27

      @bullmello – Good for Schumacher as well who gets to prove himself against someone we know is a decent driver. Destroying Mazepin every week was doing nothing to help him.

      1. @petebaldwin
        Really good test for Schumacher.

        Mazepin is a forlorn tumbleweed (Russian thistle).

  25. Now this IS interesting and not what I would have bet money on.
    We now have a genuine and experienced driver for Schumacher to be measured against and hopefully they will work well together and help Haas improve on past seasons.

  26. They now just need to sign Quorn as their main sponsor and Haas’s reinvention will be complete!

    1. I have not heard of that. Is that a reliable expectation?

      1. No, it’s irony!

    2. Maybe they will have QAnon as their main sponsor instead lol.

  27. I’m thoroughly impressed at Haas hiring someone with experience, not just the driver with the most money. Although I’m sure k-mag isn’t coming in completely empty handed. I’m not a k-mag fan at all, but I’d much rather see him in F1 than Mazepin or Fittipaldi.

  28. Well that’s a pleasant surprise. In retrospect Magnussen and Grosjean were doing an excellent job with Haas cars that were getting more unstable and slow every year – and of the two, Kevin was the more reliable. He’ll be an excellent benchmark for Schumacher, will settle in quickly to a team he’s familiar with, and probably start an entertaining rivalry with someone after cutting them off too many times!

  29. Jose Lopes da Silva
    9th March 2022, 19:34

    F1 could try to live with less money and getting more on-track talent. Pay driver out, F1 driver in. So nice.

  30. BORING!!!

    This would have been a great opportunity to get an US/Indy driver in. A Dixon, Power, Herta or even Sato back would have been infinitely more entertaining than dull K-Mart!

  31. I’m sure Charles Leclerc will be thrilled.
    From formula1.com

  32. Good choice, and with the reset on pecking order for new gen cars, KMag can perform well if opportunity arises. Haas needed someone capable of maximizing opportunities, KMag is the guy, he knows all the team, maybe he was aware of the insights on new gen car too, since this started long time ago. Good choice.

  33. Great news for Kmag, and probably good news for Schumacher as he will have a teammate that will be able to teach him a thing or two. Nice!

  34. Yes hahaha, great. Didn’t think of this option. Should add something. Makes sense for Haas and its a personality for us.

  35. I didn’t expect him to come back.. At least they got an experienced driver as they said. Danish GP is still a far fetched idea..

  36. Shake up the order or not, I’m still not expecting the Haas to be any good. Even with the year of extra development on this year’s car.

    Seems like Magnussen got excited about coming back and took a gamble.

  37. Are replacement office doors included in the budget cap?

  38. Echoing what many have already said…did not see this coming. But I’m glad for Kevin, and this will hopefully give Haas a veteran to help them develop the new car.

  39. Glad to hear it, he definitely belongs on F1 grid.

  40. Think it’ll take him a couple of races and some sore necks to get up to speed, but this is a much better lineup for haas

  41. I was just thinking, I wonder how long this has been in the works. K-Mag is going to need a seat. I assume Haas has his old seat, will that work in the new car or did he have to get a fitting done then ship the seat to the track? Either way, this deal had to be locked down way before today.

    1. They can do a seat fit, mould, fabricate and ship in hours if necessary…..freight company dependent!

      1. Thanks Bippy, I assumed it took much longer.

  42. Chris Horton
    9th March 2022, 22:35

    Great news. Welcome back K-Mag.

  43. Ummmm…but hang on a minute Kevin…

    “Magnussen grew tired of fighting for F1 scraps”

  44. This is great news – the fierce bloke that DGAF really adds to the comic relief! I think his dangerous driving was overblown by a lot of drivers… I get it – but everyone has their moments and Kmag in F1 is so highly entertaining 😀

  45. This is great for Haas, having a familiar driver could bring them up a few pegs, at least get them off of scraping the bottom. And we could have an extremely motivated and selfish Magnusson that understands the supreme importance of putting it all on the line because he could be ditched as quick as he has come back in. He has no time to lose and has to impress another team this year to maintain his F1 career. Nothing motivates more than proving people wrong.

  46. Magnussen was never a clear talent. Mag had some success coming to f1 but like Stoffel it was clear both were not from a great crop. They had their fair shot at f1, and still Mag finds a way to have yet another go.
    If only some drivers had had the chances Mag was given. So much talk about Mag having little sponsorship money but I reckon if he wasn’t nordic he wouldn’t have raced in f1.

  47. Suck my …., K-Mag. Great to have you back! :O)

  48. Unlike previous driver, who was bad and an ass.. This one is a Badass.

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