RACE DEBRIEF

    Kevin Magnussen has signed a multi-year deal to make a sensational return to Formula 1 with the Haas squad in 2022, following the team’s decision to part ways with Nikita Mazepin ahead of the season start.

    Having driven in F1 for McLaren (2014-15) and Renault (2016), Magnussen raced for Haas from 2017 until his departure from the sport at the end of the 2020 season.

    The Danish driver then moved Stateside, taking part in sportscars and IndyCar, and was set to join Peugeot's World Endurance Championship squad in 2022.

    But Magnussen, 29, will instead make an unexpected return to Formula 1 to partner sophomore driver Mick Schumacher for the season ahead, following Haas’ decision – announced last Saturday – to terminate Mazepin’s contract with immediate effect.

    READ MORE: Haas part ways with Nikita Mazepin ‘with immediate effect’

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    Magnussen last drove for the team at the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

    Team Principal Guenther Steiner said: “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. 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.

    READ MORE: ANALYSIS - Why Haas brought Magnussen back to F1

    “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.”

    Formula 1 2022: Barcelona February testing
    Team Principal Guenther Steiner (L) and owner Gene Haas (R)

    Magnussen added: “I was obviously very surprised but equally very excited to receive the call from Haas F1 Team. 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 organizations.

    “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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