It’s official: Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean will race on for Haas in 2019.
This season has seen one of the wildest and most unpredictable driver markets in recent years, but though rumours have swirled over the summer – particularly regarding Romain Grosjean’s future at the team - the American squad have opted to retain their driver line-up for what will be their fourth year in the premier category of motorsport.
“From the very beginning, we needed experienced drivers to hasten the development of our car and our team, and we have two very good and experienced drivers in Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen,” said Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “We’ve improved drastically from last year to this year, so retaining both drivers was a pretty easy decision.”
The 2019 season will mark Grosjean’s ninth year in Formula 1 and Magnussen’s fifth. This season the duo have amassed 76 points between them to lift Haas to fifth in the constructors’ standings, just 15 points behind fourth-placed Renault.
“I think the 100-point barrier should be and will be broken, and we’ll do it with Romain and Kevin,” said Steiner from the Sochi Autodrom, site of Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix. “Both drivers push each other to be better, and their collective feedback allows us to be better. It’s not a coincidence that in their second year as teammates, Haas F1 Team is having its best year. By keeping Romain and Kevin together, we aim to do even better next year.”
Grosjean, who became Haas’s very first signing back in 2016, said he was delighted to continue his association with the team.
“It’s impressive to see what this team has accomplished in such a relatively short time, and for someone who has been here since the very beginning, I take a lot of pride in the time, effort and sacrifice we’ve all put forth to make Haas F1 Team so competitive,” the 32-year-old said.
“I’m very happy to continue with Haas F1 Team and represent Haas Automation and all of our partners. Gene Haas has built something very special – something we can make even better – and it’s an honour to be a part of it.”
Magnussen, meanwhile, currently enjoying his best ever year in F1, said he’d “never been in a better situation than the one I’m in here at Haas”.
“This is a team filled with racers and we’re all striving for the same thing,” added the Dane. “There’s no bureaucracy and everything is very straightforward. Gene Haas is all about efficiency, and he and Guenther Steiner have created a very efficient environment that gets the best from its people. We all believe in each other and that’s why we’ve achieved as much as we have.”
Haas’s confirmation means there are now just three teams yet to confirm their line-ups for 2019: Force India, Toro Rosso and Williams.
Listen to a feature-length interview with Romain Grosjean on Beyond The Grid