By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Beginning next season, Haas F1 Team will continue operations without Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen after four seasons together.
Both competitors confirmed their departure from the American-based constructor on their social media outlets Thursday morning, surprising the paddock as they’re now looking for rides on what’s already been a wild silly season where F1 ride vacancies are running out.
Grosjean has been a part of the team since its inception in 2016, scoring points in three out of the opening four grand prix events, highlighted with a fifth at Bahrain. To date, the 13-year F1 veteran’s best result with Haas was a fourth in the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix, which is also the team’s best outing in the 94 races they’ve competed in.
Haas F1 Team Principal Gunther Steiner issued a statement about both competitor’s contributions to the team.
“Romain was a fundamental part of our establishment as we sought to get a driver onboard with both speed and experience,” Steiner on Grosjean. “His results in early 2016 were a just reward, not only for his own talent, but also for the sheer amount of effort the team had put in to be on the grid that season.”
Magnussen joined the team in 2017 where he too has led Haas to two fifth-place finishes at the aforementioned Austrian Grand Prix in 2018, but also at Bahrain earlier that season. His performances played a pivotal role on the team’s rather surprising career-high fifth in the constructor’s championship.
— Kevin Magnussen (@KevinMagnussen) October 22, 2020
“When Kevin joined a season later, we saw an immediate return with both cars scoring points, and of course, our first double points finish in Monaco that year,” Steiner on Magnussen. “We have a lot of good memories together – in particular our 2018 season when we finished fifth in the standings in only our third season.”
However, both have struggled enormously since 2018 with Magnussen scoring points in five races to Grosjean’s four in the last 32 races. Thus, the decision was made to move on from both fiery competitors, hoping that whoever Haas F1 pick up, likely out of the Formula 2 talent pool, can get them back to where they were or even better than two seasons ago.
Despite the tensions publicly shown in Netflix’s hit show Drive to Survive, Steiner thanked their efforts, hoping to have better results in the remaining six rounds, including the Portuguese Grand Prix in the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve (Sunday at 9:05 a.m. ET on ESPN2).
“I want to extend my thanks to both Romain and Kevin for their hard work and commitment to Haas F1 Team over the past few seasons,” said Steiner.
“Romain and Kevin played a significant part in that success. Of course, there is still plenty of racing left in the 2020 season. It’s been a challenging year, no doubt about that, but both drivers have given their all behind the wheel of the VF-20. We value their inputs and experience to keep pushing the team forward through to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December.”
Haas F1 are currently ninth in the constructor’s standings with a ninth by Grosjean in the Eifel Grand Prix in Nurburgring being the team’s best finish all season.