The Haas F1 Team will field an unchanged driver line-up for the 2019 Formula 1 season after announcing it has re-signed Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.
“From the very beginning, we needed experienced drivers to hasten the development of our car and our team, and we have two very good and experienced drivers in Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen,” said team principal Günther Steiner.
“We’ve improved drastically from last year to this year, so retaining both drivers was a pretty easy decision.”
Now in its third season of Formula 1 competition, the American outfit is enjoying its most competitive campaign to-date and currently sits fifth overall in the Constructors’ Championship standings with 76 points to its credit.
Forty-nine of those points have been earned by Magnussen, who has bloomed with the team after being offered a career lifeline following a tough rookie campaign with McLaren in 2014.
“I’ve never been in a better situation than the one I’m in here at Haas F1 Team,” Magnussen said.
“This is a team filled with racers and we’re all striving for the same thing. There’s no bureaucracy and everything is very straightforward.
“[Team owner] Gene Haas is all about efficiency, and he and Günther Steiner have created a very efficient environment that gets the best from its people. We all believe in each other and that’s why we’ve achieved as much as we have.”
While Magnussen’s re-signing was always considered a certainty among the sport’s insiders – his contract extension runs until the end of the 2020 season – the same could not be said of Grosjean, who has been with the team since its inception in 2016. The Frenchman has had an untidy 2018 season marred by a number of driving errors early in the season.
He recovered from those missteps and delivered the team’s best finish to-date – fourth in Austria – and a further run of points’ finishes have put the team in real contention to challenge Renault’s hold on fourth place in the championship standings.
“It’s impressive to see what this team has accomplished in such a relatively short time, and for someone who has been here since the very beginning, I take a lot of pride in the time, effort and sacrifice we’ve all put forth to make Haas F1 Team so competitive,” Grosjean said.
“I’m very happy to continue with Haas F1 Team and represent Haas Automation and all of our partners. Gene Haas has built something very special – something we can make even better – and it’s an honor to be a part of it.”
Haas’ confirmation means there are just three teams – Scuderia Toro Rosso, Force India and Williams – to finalise their 2019 driving line-ups. In what has been a volatile ‘silly season’, Haas is the only team other than Mercedes to confirm an unchanged driving line-up next year.
Image via Haas F1 Team