Kevin Magnussen returns to Haas as Nikita Mazepin’s replacement

Nikita Mazepin's contract was terminated after Russia's invasion of Ukraine resulted in his father's company being dropped as the team's title sponsor.

Kevin Magnussen’s sensational return to Haas in 2022 has been confirmed, and he will be in the car during the second pre-season test in Bahrain.

The Dane signed for the Banbury squad in 2017 having spent two seasons in the sport with McLaren and Renault in 2014 and 2016.

He and Romain Grosjean managed 40 points finishes between them in 77 races, achieving a best Constructors’ Standings finish of fifth in 2018.

However, the final two years of the pair’s tenure with the team were dire as they tackled an underperforming car and occasionally tangled with each other on track, much to the ire of team principal Guenther Steiner.

It was announced partway through the 2020 season that both of them would be moving on, with Grosjean heading to IndyCar and the 29-year-old going to IMSA.

After his final race in F1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2020, Magnussen clarified that he would not want to stay in the pinnacle of motorsport if there were no chance of him progressing towards the front of the grid.

“If I was to stay in Formula 1, I would want to move forward and go for wins and that’s not going to happen, so I’m really looking forward to what I’m going to do now,” he told Sky Sports at the time.

Last year, Steiner testified that running two rookies in Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin – whose contract has been terminated amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – was like “having children,” and the experience of the Dane should compliment the youthful exuberance of the 22-year-old.

“The team owner [Gene Haas] has always had a good eye for the Dane, as has team manager Guenther Steiner, Magnussen knows the team from the inside and will be a good match with Mick Schumacher,” said a report by Ekstra Bladet in Denmark.

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Haas confirmed last night that, following the sacking of Nikita Mazepin amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Magnussen is to return to the side with whom he spent four seasons.

The former McLaren and Renault driver was surprised to receive the call-up, but leaped at the opportunity to return to F1.

“I was very surprised but equally very excited to receive the call from Haas,” he said.

“I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of an F1 car.

“I want to thank Haas and Guenther Steiner for the chance to resume my Formula 1 career. I know just how competitive they are and how keen they are to return to competing week in week out.”

The 29-year-old is expected to take to the track in Bahrain on Friday in Bahrain after Pietro Fittipaldi’s outing on Thursday afternoon.