The Haas F1 team has pleasantly surprised F1 fans by announcing Kevin Magnussen will return to the team ahead of the 2022 season following the termination of Nikita Mazepin’s contract. Magnussen raced with Haas from 2017-2020 before the team elected to replace him and teammate Romain Grosjean with Mick Schumacher and Mazepin, the latter coming with big backing from sponsor Uralkali. Mazepin was recently sacked following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Magnussen will step into the VF22 car on Friday afternoon of this week’s Bahrain pre-season test ahead of the 2022 F1 season.

Magnussen Replaces Ousted Mazepin

Mazepin was on a long-term deal with Haas along with his sponsor Uralkali, a part of the Uralchem company. The company is of course owned by father Dmitry, but following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Haas team elected to drop both sponsor and driver. This has rather infuriated Mazepin and his father. But Haas argued that keeping sponsor and driver was untenable, and moved fast to replace the Russian with a driver that is not only fast, but who knows the team well after his previous four-year stint for the American squad.

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Partnering Mick Schumacher For 2022 And Beyond

Magnussen is partnering up with German Mick Schumacher, who raced for Haas in 2021. Schumacher comfortably had the measure of Mazepin and Magnussen will be a good barometer for the young German. Magnussen scored some impressive results during his first tenure at Haas, such as fine fifth places in Austria 2018 and Melbourne 2019. Magnussen’s best finish in F1 is a 2nd place at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix on his McLaren debut, and he also raced with the Renault F1 team in 2016.

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Why Haas Chose Magnussen

Magnussen Haas Return F1 2022
via Formula 1

Magnussen is the ideal choice for Haas. Not only is he fast and able to drag a car as high up the order as possible, but he knows the team well. Thus, integration back into the squad itself will be easy, though it will take time for him to adjust to driving the new 2022 cars after missing the Barcelona test. His experience in F1 as a whole is vital and will help teammate Schumacher to develop further.

Haas also had Nico Hulkenberg and Antonio Giovinazzi as possible candidates, but Magnussen's familiarity with the team and being five years younger than Hulkenberg meant he was the ideal candidate. A multi-year deal also indicates his commitment to the team, which he did leave on good terms back in 2020. He will drive for the team on Friday afternoon of this week's Bahrain test.

Source: Haas F1 Team

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