Haas Team: Magnussen still in awe of his 2022 Formula 1 comeback

Since returning to the paddock earlier this year, Kevin Magnussen has gained a reinvigorated passion as an F1 driver.

Magnussen stepped away from active Formula 1 competition when Haas opted against resigning him after the 2020 season.

The Danish native shifted his talents into sportscar racing. Still, a surprising return to Grand Prix racing arrived this year following Nikita Mazepin’s termination after Russia invaded Ukraine and the end of their sponsorship relations with Uralkali.

Upon his return, Magnussen made the perfect comeback when placing fifth at the F1 season opener in Bahrain, and he’s notably been the points leader for Haas in the 2022 season thus far.

“I would still have to pinch myself,” Magnussen said when discussing his thoughts before the summer break.

“It’s such a big thing to get to be a Formula 1 driver. That’s one of the things I really started realising last year when I wasn’t in it.

“When you see from the outside…you realise how many people watch it and how many people talk about it during the race weekends at home. So, I started to really appreciate that, and it kind of hit me how big it is.

“Then to come back into it, I appreciate it much more being at every race. I pay attention to how many spectators there are and how big it is.” 

Season success hasn’t been prominent, and the circuits raced since Bahrain haven’t presented much for team Haas in the form of points. However, Magnussen said he’d been satisfied since accepting the offer from Haas F1 chief Gunther Steiner.

Article continues below

Regulations assisted Magnussen’s decision to return

The brand-new regulations implemented for the F1 2022 season – that shook the landscape of teams involved – played a crucial factor in Magnussen’s decision-making.

“I think that if there hadn’t been that whole thing about the new regs and if Haas had been where they were last year, and the rules would have continued like this for another five years, I would have probably hesitated,” he said.

“But I really saw it as an opportunity. There were no guarantees; Gunther didn’t promise anything. But he explained what they’ve done and how they spent their focus in the last couple of years.

“When I was here in 2020, it was already clear that this would be the plan. So, I was excited about that, and I thought, ‘yeah, this could be good’.”

In order to join Haas again, Magnussen had to relinquish his sportscar contracts with Chip Ganassi Racing, Peugeot, and Cadillac.

It’s unlikely that Magnussen will find an F1 victory with Haas that he’s longed for since his previous podium with McLaren in 2014, but he insists on having no regrets.

“I’ve said many times; actually, last year was kind of one of the best years of my life,” he said.

“I was excited to get back to fighting for pole position and race wins every weekend. But there’s only one Formula 1. Nothing else is like Formula 1.”

Team Haas at the Belgian GP and prediction

Next up for Team Haas and Magnussen is the Belgian GP. Based in Kannapolis, NC, we expect North Carolina sports betting enthusiasts to take a keen interest in Steiner’s team as they head back to Europe.

Although the Formula 1 summer break currently has the schedule on hold, the best sportsbooks have already released the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix odds.

As previously mentioned, we don’t expect Magnussen or Team Haas to find many podium finishes this season, if any at all. However, the reigning champion Max Verstappen is primed to win this event.

Having won eight of the 13 races in the F1 2022 season, including the two races before the break, it’s hard to ignore his chances of claiming yet another GP victory.

It’s always difficult to gauge a valid prediction following the summer break. But when you’re presented with a dominant driver such as Verstappen, it makes it easier to bet on the obvious and avoid complicating your decision.

Of course, asses the field heading into the weekend of August 28, and don’t discredit Leclerc, Hamilton, or any other top drivers. However, for a price of 1.91, betting in favour of the world’s best holds significant value.