Kevin Magnussen replaces Russian driver at Haas Formula 1 team

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Kevin Magnussen back in a Haas F1 after team terminated contracts with Nikita Mazepin and Russian title sponsor Uralkali.

American Formula 1 team Haas has confirmed that Danish driver Kevin Magnussen will partner Mick Schumacher for the 2022 season, after it sacked Russian Nikita Mazepin a few days ago.

The 29-year-old has been confirmed as the team’s second driver just nine days ahead of the first race of the season in Bahrain next weekend. He previously raced for Haas from 2017 to 2020, coming ninth in the driver standings in 2018.

He fills the seat left vacant after Mazepin was sacked in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Mazpin’s father is the owner of potash-mining firm Uralkali, which was Haas’s chief sponsor until the contract was terminated earlier this week. The company’s logos were removed from the car ahead of testing getting under way last week.

Uralkali is seeking repayment of the sponsorship money it gave the team, calling the termination “unreasonable” and saying “sports should always be free of politics and pressure from external factors”.

Magnussen is said to have signed a “multi-year” contract with the Haas team. It’s unclear who will take his seat in Peugeot’s new World Endurance Championship (WEC) hypercar, which is set to take to the track later this year.

Pietro Fittipaldi will fill in for Haas’s first tests in Bahrain next Thursday before Magnussen gets in the car for final tests, qualifying and the race.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said: “I’m delighted to welcome Kevin Magnussen back to Haas. 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 said: “I was obviously very surprised but equally very excited to receive the call. 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 [IMSA Sportscar Championship team] Chip Ganassi Racing for releasing me promptly. Both are great organisations.”

Felix Page

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