The Haas Formula 1 Team was originally set to contest the 2022 Formula 1 season with Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. However the latter has since been replaced by Kevin Magnussen, the Dane having last competed in Formula 1 back in 2020 with Haas.
Magnussen is by now a seasoned professional racing driver having spent six seasons in Formula 1 before then going over to America to compete in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, where he won one race and finished inside the top three in another four. The Dane has also sampled IndyCar machinery, racing for Arrow McLaren SP in a one-off appearance at Road America, and managed to race alongside his father, Jan Magnussen, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Last time Magnussen was in Formula 1 he was left to battle with uncompetitive machinery in the form of the VF-20 which some felt disguised the progress that he had made as a driver. Some point to his performance at the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix, where Magnussen managed to salvage a tenth place finish and therefore a point, as well as that year’s Turkish Grand Prix as evidence of the high calibre driver that the Dane has matured into.Embed from Getty Images
With Haas having sacrificed development on its VF-21 to focus on this season’s car, the VF-22, it will therefore be interesting to see what Magnussen is capable of achieving should the car be, at the very least, a solid midfield runner.
It also means that Mick Schumacher, on the other side of the Haas garage, will face a much tougher challenge this season than he did in 2021. The German for the most part got the better of 2021 teammate Nikita Mazepin, who was himself a rookie like Schumacher. But with a teammate who has six seasons of Formula 1 experience, plus further racing experience in other premier motorsport categories, it will be interesting to see how Schumacher performs. It will also be interesting to see how people therefore perceive the German should he either succeed in getting the better of Magnussen over the course of 2022, or struggle to match the Dane across the season. This could then impact on what sort of career progression Schumacher will have in Formula 1.
Of course the teammate battle at Haas this season doesn’t just impact Schumacher, but could also change the perception some have of Magnussen should he consistently get the better of Schumacher across the season, especially if he resoundingly beats the German. This is worth keeping in mind when considering that Magnussen has walked away from a solid sportscar programme in order to sign a multi-year deal with Haas. Where Magnussen will be racing after his deal with the American team expires will depend, in part, on how the Dane performs against Schumacher.
Many observing Formula 1 in 2022 will likely focus on other driver pairings on the grid, such as Lewis Hamilton/George Russell at Mercedes, Carlos Sainz/Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, Lando Norris/Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren, or at another team such as Alpine. However it may be worth ‘checking in on’ the teammate battle at Haas across this coming season as who comes out on top could have a major impact on either Magnussen or Schumacher’s Formula 1 careers, especially if the car is more competitive than in recent seasons.