Silly season is in full flow and Danish Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen has reportedly been the recipient of an offer to join the Haas F1 team from the start of next season. Magnussen, 24, has made decent return to F1 this season that has largely gone under-the-radar because of the under-performing Renault in which he has gone about his work in.
This news comes just a few weeks after Nico Hulkenberg was confirmed to be joining the French team at the start of 2017. Many expected Jolyon Palmer to be the one who would be making way for the German but it seems like Magnussen could be the one leaving Renault.
What does this mean for the rest of the grid?
Wherever there’s a rumour there are more rumours surrounding it. So if Magnussen does leave Renault for Haas then obviously one of their drivers will have to make way for the Dane, as three into two does not go. Grosjean is already signed on for next year and has been Haas’ stand-out driver this season as the Frenchman has scored all of the American outfit’s points which includes a fantastic fifth place in Bahrain. So that can only mean one thing for Gutierrez…
I honestly think that Esteban has been unlucky this season as when he has outpaced Grosjean it hasn’t meant anything because he’s always been outside the points. Dropping him would be somewhat harsh but this is Formula 1, there’s little to no room for sentimentality. If you don’t perform over a season you’re going to be out.
As for where Gutierrez will go I don’t think the answer will be in a F1 driving seat. He has financial backing, three years of experience in F1 and he’s only 25 but the only team I can realistically see him going to if he’s axed from Haas is Manor and I’ll be surprised if he goes that low down on the grid. So the Ferrari test role could be beckoning once again.
So the rest of the grid shouldn’t directly change much as a result of this potential move.
Is this is a likely move?
The only question I would have to ask, though, is why? Why would K-Mag voluntarily leave Renault, a works team with big financial backing for an inexperienced F1 team with a customer engine? It may seem like a strange move at first but when you dig a little deeper it begins to make a bit more sense.
Renault have struggled to say the least since re-joining F1 and the car has made very little progress throughout the year. The team claim this is because of the poor Lotus that it’s modeled on and next year’s car will be much better. But what if it’s not? What if Magnussen has seen what the 2017 Renault will be like and it’s not too impressive?
Add that all to the fact that Magnussen wanted to join Haas for 2016 and it’s not too farfetched of a rumour. But anything can happen in Formula one, and it usually does.