Haas confirms Magnussen for 2017
Haas F1 has officially confirmed its drivers for 2017. Romain Grosjean will continue with the team and will be joined by ex-McLaren, current Renault driver Kevin Magnussen. K-Mag has confirmed that he could have continued with Renault but was offered the Haas drive first. For Magnussen, the move is vital. Both Renault and Haas have had a lukewarm season, though for Haas the season seems to be concluding with them clinching the 8th place in the constructors’ championship, well ahead of Renault.
This also confirms that Esteban Gutierrez will no longer be driving for the team. The Mexican driver has failed to drive to points once this season with Grosjean having scored all of Haas’s 29 points. It’s unclear if Gutierrez really has a shot of racing anywhere else. Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and Toro Rosso are sticking with their current driver line-ups for next season. With confirmations having also come in from Force India and Renault, the only teams not to have confirmed their drivers for next season are Sauber and Manor.
Sauber is currently dead last in the constructors’ championship, having scored no points. Of its current drivers, Marcus Ericsson is competing in his third season and unless Sauber re-hires him, his chances of staying in F1 look extremely bleak. Felipe Nasr is still reportedly a hot ticket on the driver market so his continuation might not be out of the question, although the Brazilian driver has failed to achieve much this past season (his second in the sport).
Manor, on the other hand, is in an interesting spot. Earlier this year, the team’s heads said they would be willing to stick with their current driver duo of Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon. However, it was confirmed this week that Ocon would move up to Renault. This announcement was baffling considering Pascal has driven the team’s one and only championship point this season which is the only thing keeping the team ahead of Sauber in the standings. Wehrlein might very well stick with his current team (as he is a Mercedes sponsored driver and Sauber is a Ferrari team). The big question remains who will be his team-mate. Rio Haryanto has remained as Manor’s reserve driver despite being ousted earlier this season and Alexander Rossi is also still officially attached to the team (though he’s been participating in the American IndyCar series). As the reason for Haryanto’s ousting was monetary, it would seem more likely that Manor will go with a fresh face for next season.