Haas driver Kevin Magnussen has expressed his excitement ahead of the 2022 season after returning to the team following a year out.
Mick Schumacher was set to partner Nikita Mazepin for the second year running at Haas but, after Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine, the American team dropped name partner Uralkali.
Mazepin’s father Dmitry part owns the Russia-based firm, and his money paid for the 23-year-old’s seat, meaning that he lost his seat.
An unanticipated turn of events saw Magnussen make a sensational return, and he was ecstatic when he received the call to return having left at the end of 2020 to make room for Mazepin’s funding.
“I can’t thank Guenther and Gene enough for giving me this opportunity,” he told Sky Sports.
“It was totally unexpected, and because it was so unexpected it just feels mad to be back here in this paddock, and it’s such an incredible opportunity so I’m like a kid right now.”
Schumacher out-qualified the Moscow born racer 20 times in 22 races in 2021, and did not have an entirely representative challenge in his former team-mate.
He will certainly have a much practicable benchmark in the Dane, and Magnussen is enthused by the attitude and the ability of the 22-year-old.
“I’ve been very impressed,” he said.
“Mick is someone who won everything on his way to Formula 1; he’s fully deserving of being where he is, and I think we’re going to see great things from him in the future.”
Schumacher is the son of seven-time champion Michael, and the 29-year-old believes that the German has the capacity to emulate some of that success.
“He’s a young guy; he’s super hungry; he’s working incredibly hard, [he’s] intelligent, so I think he’s got a bright future,” he added.
Haas are being tipped to join the midfield fight in 2022 after a productive pre-season, particularly in Bahrain, where the first race is being held this weekend.