Haas have confirmed that they are retaining their current driver line-up of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean for the 2020 season.
Magnussen was already under contract for 2020, and while there were questions about whether Grosjean would be kept on after another difficult year with Haas, this announcement means he will complete his fifth consecutive season with the American team.
“I’ve always stated that it was my desire to remain with Haas F1 Team and keep building on the team’s accomplishments,” commented Grosjean.
“Having been here since the very beginning and seen the work both Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner put into the team to make it competitive, I’m naturally very happy to continue to be a part of that.
“We’ve had our challenges this season, but we’ll use both the experience of last year and this year to move forward into 2020.”
The confirmation that Grosjean will be kept on at Haas for 2020 will be a huge blow for Nico Hulkenberg, who had been in talks with the team having lost his drive at Renault for next year.
But Haas Team Principal, Guenther Steiner felt that retaining the same drivers for next season would set a “solid platform” for the team to grow.
“Experience, and the need for it, has been one of the cornerstones of Haas F1 Team, and with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen racing for the team in 2020, we continue to have a driver lineup that offers us a solid platform to continue our growth.” added Steiner.
“Their understanding of how we work as a team, and our knowledge of what they can deliver behind the wheel, gives us a valued continuity and a strong foundation to keep building our team around.
“It’s been a tough year for us in 2019 with the fluctuation in performance of the VF-19, but our ability to tap into our combined experiences will help us learn, improve, and move forward as a unit in 2020,”
With the Haas seat no longer available, Hulkenberg’s options of remaining on the Formula 1 grid now appear to be limited with only Williams and Alfa Romeo posing as realistic destinations for next season.
Hulkenberg had been considered as an outsider for Red Bull next season – if Albon struggles to perform over the remainder of the year – but the team have previously stated that they would rather look for a driver within their programme if possible.
That leaves Hulkenberg with having to look for a drive outside of Formula 1, with Formula E his most likely destination, and putting an end to his nine year F1 career.