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Haas F1 To Keep Driver Lineup In Tact

| , RacinToday.com Friday, September 28 2018

The Haas F1 driver lineup of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean will return to the team in 2019. (File photo courtesy of Haas F1)

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American-owned Haas F1 Team will retain its driver lineup of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen for the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship season.

Grosjean has been with Haas F1 since its 2016 inception, while Magnussen joined team founder/owner Gene Haas’ organization in 2017. The 2019 season will mark Grosjean’s ninth year in Formula One and Magnussen’s fifth.

“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,” Team Principal Guenther Steiner said in a statement. “We’ve improved drastically from last year to this year, so retaining both drivers was a pretty easy decision.”

Currently in its third season, Haas F1 is fifth in the constructors’ standings with 76 points, 15 points behind fourth-place Renault and with an 18-point advantage over sixth-place McLaren. Powered by engines supplied by Scuderia Ferrari, Haas F1 finished eighth in the constructors’ standings in 2016 and 2017 but dramatically increased its point tally each year _ from 29 points in 2016 to 47 points in 2017 to a goal of breaking the 100-point barrier in 2018.

“I think the 100-point barrier should be and will be broken, and we’ll do it with Romain and Kevin,” Steiner said from Sochi Autodrom, site of Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix. “Both drivers push each other to be better, and their collective feedback allows us to be better. It’s not a coincidence that in their second year as teammates Haas F1 Team is having its best year. By keeping Romain and Kevin together, we aim to do even better next year.”

Grosjean came to Haas F1 Team in 2016 after spending five F1 seasons with Lotus F1 Team. The 32-year-old Frenchman has competed in 137 Formula One races and earned 10 podium finishes and a total of 371 points. Grosjean scored all 29 points for Haas F1 during its inaugural season and is responsible for 55.3 percent of Haas F1’s cumulative point tally since 2016.

“It’s impressive to see what this team has accomplished in such a relatively short time,” Grosjean said. “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. 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.”

Magnussen, a 25-year-old from Roskilde, Denmark, joined Haas F1 Team with two years of Formula One experience _ one with McLaren in 2014 and another with Renault in 2016. Magnussen finished an impressive second in his Formula One debut at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix and has amassed 130 points in 75 grand prix starts.

“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. Gene Haas is all about efficiency, and he and Guenther 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.”

Haas F1 Team debuted in the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2016, becoming the first American F1 entrant since 1986. Haas F1 is based at the same Kannapolis, N.C., campus that houses Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR Cup Series organization Haas co-owns with retired three-time champion Tony Stewart.

Founded by Haas in 1983, Haas Automation, Inc., is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools and the team’s primary sponsor. Haas Automation employs approximately 1,300 at its 1.1-million square-foot/102,000 square-meter headquarters in Oxnard, Calif. Haas Automation exports its machines to more than 60 countries through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets.

| , RacinToday.com Friday, September 28 2018
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