In what can only be described as a complete surprise, Hass F1 announced this morning that former F1 driver Kevin Magnussen would be replacing Nikita Mazepin in the vacant seat for 2022.
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) March 9, 2022
Magnussen has plenty of experience with the American team, running as co-driver to Romain Grosjean from 2017-2020, leaving after a full driver shakeup in 2021. During the 2021 season and for the start of 2022, Magnussen has been with Chip Ganassi Racing in the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship, as well as running the 24h of LeMans with his father, multi-time IMSA champion Jan Magnussen.
While earlier reported speculations put rookie Pietro Fittipaldi or Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi in the 2nd seat, resigning Magnussen makes tremendous sense for a team attempting to bounce back from the last month of crisis. With 2nd year driver Mick Schumacher, Haas once again has a senior statesman with plenty of seat time to help develop and mold the young German into a more formidable force on the grid.
However, not is all lost for Fittipaldi – with Haas equipment making a late arrival to Bahrain for tomorrows testing and this mornings announcement, Fittipaldi is still scheduled to drive the VF22 for the first day of testing, no doubt in preparation for more sessions in 2022. No doubt Haas will have their hands full in the final test before the start of the 2022 season.