Haas retain Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen for the 2020 F1 season
In a move that has surprised most in the F1 Paddock, Haas F1 confirmed that they will retain both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean for the 2020 season. With months of speculation concerning the futures of both drivers it was expected that Grosjean would lose his seat to the German Nico Hulkenberg who was replaced by Esteban Ocon at Renault.
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team said “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 lineup that offers us a solid platform to continue our growth. 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."
With Steiner stating that, "experience beingone of the cornerstones of Haas F1" was important to the decision it seems the bosses hope stability and familiarity with the team bring Haas out of what has been a dreadful 2019 season. Many critics have pointed that Grosjean has had a terrible 2019 with errors, costly mistakes and not capitalising when the car has looked good, albeit rarely. In hindsight, his observation to bring the Australia spec car back seems to have saved his F1 career as results improved and allowed a comparative with Magnussen to get to the root of the problem.
The move now jeopardises the F1 career of Nico Hulkenberg who looks set to miss out a seat in F1 next season. With seats filling up and very few options remaining, it's surprising to see of the most solid F1 drivers on the grid potentially leaving F1 behind next year.