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Haas F1 To Shake Up Driver Lineup

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, November 11 2016
Kevin Magnussen will drive for Haas F1 next season. He will team with Romain Grosjean. (Photo courtesy of Haas F1)

Kevin Magnussen will drive for Haas F1 next season. He will team with Romain Grosjean. (Photo courtesy of Haas F1)

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

American-owned Haas F1 Team has signed Kevin Magnussen as teammate to Romain Grosjean for the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship season.

Magnussen, a 24-year-old from Roskilde, Denmark, brings two years of Formula One experience to Haas F1 _ his rookie season with McLaren in 2014 and the 2016 season with Renault. Magnussen, who finished an impressive second in his F1 debut at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, has scored 62 points in 38 starts leading into Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo.

“From the time we began looking at drivers, Kevin Magnussen was always on our short list,” said Gene Haas, founder and chairman, Haas F1 Team. “He’s accomplished a lot in a very short period of time, and we feel like he can accomplish a lot with us. Our second season will bring a new set of challenges, and we feel that pairing Kevin with Romain will help us develop our new car and continue our growth.”

Magnussen will replace Esteban Gutierrez of Mexico, who has failed to score a point for Haas F1 thus far.

“I want to thank Esteban Gutiérrez for all of his efforts,” Haas said. “He’s been an instrumental part of our first year in Formula One and we’re looking forward to finishing the season strong with him and Romain.”

Haas F1 is the first American-owned team to compete in the globe-trotting series in 30 years.

“This is a fantastic opportunity and I’m very happy to be a part of Haas F1 Team,” Magnussen said. “Obviously, I’m confident in my abilities as a Formula One driver, but I’m also very confident of what Haas F1 Team can do in its second season and every season thereafter. Gene Haas has come into Formula One with a strong vision and a different way of doing things. He’s making it work and work well. I’ve had a good vantage point all season long, and I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of next year’s Haas VF-17.”

Grosjean joined Haas F1 Team in 2016 after spending five Formula One seasons with Lotus F1 Team. The 30-year-old Frenchman has competed in 101 F1 races and earned 10 podium finishes and a total of 316 points. He has scored all 29 points for Haas F1 Team to position the organization eighth in the Constructor standings with two races remaining in its debut season.

“A little more than a year ago I made my decision to join Haas F1 Team and it was absolutely the right decision,” Grosjean said. “I’m very proud to be a part of the team’s development and am very happy we can continue to grow and achieve more success in the years ahead.”

Haas selected Grosjean and Gutierrez last year in a bid to bring F1-experienced drivers into the organization during its developmental season. “Romain has done a very good job of that and he’s played a large role in bringing respect and legitimacy to Haas F1 Team,” Haas said. “We have a new set of challenges next year with a new car and a new set of regulations and his veteran leadership will again prove valuable.”

Guenther Steiner, team principal, also praised the Grosjean-Gutierrez pairing for the “detailed, authoritative feedback” they continue to provide.

“Romain brought a lot of experience to our team and has been instrumental in getting us to where we are today,” Steiner said. “Credit also goes to Esteban for all of his work. His time with Ferrari was very beneficial as it helped get us acquainted with its methodologies and make the most of our partnership with them. He and Romain pushed each other on the track and together they’re responsible for the success we’ve had in our first season.”

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, November 11 2016
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