October 19, 2019, 13:01

Haas confirm Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean for F1 2020

Haas confirm Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean for F1 2020

Haas have confirmed that they are retaining both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean for F1 2020, ending speculation about their driver line-up.

The decision, which Haas boss Guenther Steiner admits was made in the interest of “experience” and “continuity”, means Magnussen and Grosjean will enter a fourth season as team-mates despite a troubled 2019 season.

It also rules out a potential landing spot for many drivers, including Nico Hulkenberg who was targeting the seat after being axed by Renault.

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F1 2020 race calendar and driver line-ups

“Experience, and the need for it, has been one of the cornerstones of Haas F1 Team, and with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen racing for the team in 2020, we continue to have a driver line-up that offers us a solid platform to continue our growth,” said Steiner.

“Their understanding of how we work as a team, and our knowledge of what they can deliver behind the wheel, gives us a valued continuity and a strong foundation to keep building our team around.

“It’s been a tough year for us in 2019 with the fluctuation in performance of the VF-19, but our ability to tap into our combined experiences will help us learn, improve, and move forward as a unit in 2020.”

Haas opt for continuity despite poor 2019
Haas finished fifth in just their third F1 season last year, but are only ninth in the Constructors’ Championship in 2019. Their drivers, meanwhile, have frequently clashed on-track.

But Grosjean, who joined Haas ahead of their debut campaign in 2016, is delighted to keep his place.

“I’ve always stated that it was my desire to remain with Haas F1 Team and keep building on the team’s accomplishments,” said the Frenchman.

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“Having been here since the very beginning and seen the work both Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner put into the team to make it competitive, I’m naturally very happy to continue to be a part of that.

“We’ve had our challenges this season, but we’ll use both the experience of last year and this year to move forward into 2020. I’m looking forward to working with Kevin and the whole team and continuing our journey together.”

Magnussen added: “Nobody’s satisfied with how the 2019 season has played out, but the determination to turn things around is very much in evidence.

“I’m grateful the team have always believed in me and what I can bring to the table. We share a common goal and together with Romain, I’ll be giving it my all on-track for the remainder of this season and into 2020.”

What now for Hulkenberg?
Haas’ announcement means there are now just five seats remaining on the F1 2020 grid: One next to Max Verstappen at Red Bull, one at Alfa Romeo, one at Williams, and two at Toro Rosso.

The options are therefore limited for Hulkenberg, particularly as Antonio Giovinazzi is set to keep his place at Alfa Romeo and the Toro Rosso spots will almost certainly be filled by Red Bull-affiliated drivers.

The expected 2020 F1 driver line-ups

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas
Ferrari Sebastian Vettel Charles Leclerc
Red Bull Max Verstappen TBC
McLaren Carlos Sainz Lando Norris
Toro Rosso TBC TBC
Renault Daniel Ricciardo Esteban Ocon
Racing Point Sergio Perez Lance Stroll
Alfa Romeo Kimi Raikkonen TBC
Haas Romain Grosjean Kevin Magnussen
Williams George Russell TBC

Providing he wants a competitive seat for 2020, Hulkenberg, who is to be replaced by Esteban Ocon at Renault, will surely, therefore, be targeting the Red Bull drive – though the team would rather promote from within.

Sourse: skysports.com

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