SOCHI, Russia — Haas F1 Team will retain its current lineup of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean for the 2019 Formula One season.
The American team has remained tight-lipped over its future plans for much of the year, although Magnussen’s extension has seemed a formality since early in the campaign. The future of Grosjean was less certain, with the Frenchman struggling for form and failing to score a point until the Austrian Grand Prix.
However, Haas boss Guenther Steiner said a decision would always be made after the August summer break, and that period has coincided with an upturn in form for Grosjean. The news means Grosjean will remain with the team for its fourth season, having been one of the first people hired by Gene Haas ahead of the team’s debut season in 2016.
In a driver market that has been marked by significant movement this year, Haas’ announcement means it is one of two teams — the other being Mercedes — to be going into next season with an unchanged lineup.
Haas is locked in a fight with Renault for fourth in the championship, a remarkable achievement for F1’s newest team. With that in mind, Steiner said continuity was key for 2019.
“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,” he said. “We’ve improved drastically from last year to this year, so retaining both drivers was a pretty easy decision.”
Magnussen has repeatedly stated his happiness at the Haas setup, which he joined on a multiyear deal in 2016. The Danish driver has excelled in that environment, and he said it made sense to continue.
“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.”
Grosjean is relishing the prospect of staying with the growing team.
“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.”