Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen will leave Haas at the end of the current Formula 1 season, meaning the American team will have an all-new driver line-up for 2021.
The two have been teammates since 2017 with Grosjean having been with Haas since its F1 inauguration one season earlier. Both announced their exit from the team on social media this evening on the eve of the Portuguese Grand Prix.
2020 has been a challenging season for Haas. The team is only ahead of Williams in the constructor championship, and both Grosjean and Magnussen have struggled to get themselves out of Q1 in most qualifying sessions.
A junior team of Ferrari, team boss Guenther Steiner has previously hinted at a switch to nurturing younger talent for future seasons. The team will provide an ideal starting base for several of the Ferrari Driver Academy racers coming through the ranks of FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3.
F2 driver Nikita Mazepin has been linked to a possible drive with the team, as is one of either Mick Schumacher, Callum Ilott and Robert Shwartzman. All are FDA drivers and are set to make their promotion to the category within the next few seasons.
Grosjean has been on the F1 grid in every season since 2012, first with the Lotus Renault team before switching to Haas.
But with very few seats on the 2021 grid left available, 2020 could be the season the 34-year-old bids his final farewell.
“The last chapter is closed, and the book is finished,” said Grosjean. “I’ve been with Haas F1 Team since day one.
“Five years during which we went through highs and lows, scored 110 points in 92 races, but the journey was worth it. I’ve learned a lot, improved to be a better driver as well as a better man.
“I hope I’ve also helped people in the team to improve themself. This is probably my biggest pride, more than any of the crazy first races in 2016 or the P4 at the Austrian GP 2018.”
Magnussen finds himself in a similar boat as his French teammate. While his performances across the last four seasons with Haas have been incredibly unstable with erratic errors blended in with some standout drivers, he has been instrumental in Haas’ growth over the previous few seasons.
“Being part of a brand new team has been a challenge that I have thoroughly enjoyed and it has brought me a huge amount of experience that has helped me grow and develop as a racing driver,” said Magnussen.
“I would like to thank Gene [Haas, team owner], Guenther and all of the race team for their loyalty and trust in me over the past four years.
“I am still working on my plans for the future, which I will announce in due course.
“There are still six races to do this season and I am determined to give my all to finish off on a high.”
Magnussen is still only 28-years-old, meaning a sabbatical with the intent on returning to F1 later is possible. The Dane has one podium to his name on his debut race with McLaren. He was later dropped from the British marque before a turbulent one-year stint with Renault.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner thanked both drivers “for their hard work and commitment over the past few seasons”.
He added: “Romain was a fundamental part of our establishment as we sought to get a driver on board with both speed and experience. His results in early 2016 were a just reward, not only for his talent but also for the sheer amount of effort the team had put in to be on the grid that season.
“When Kevin joined a season later, we saw an immediate return with both cars scoring points, and of course, our first double points finish in Monaco that year. We have a lot of good memories together – in particular, our 2018 season when we finished fifth in the standings in only our third season. Romain and Kevin played a significant part in that success.
“Of course, there is still plenty of racing left in the 2020 season. It’s been a challenging year, no doubt about that, but both drivers have given their all behind the wheel of the VF-20. We value their inputs and experience to keep pushing the team forward through to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December.”