This story has developed: Kevin Magnussen will race for the Haas F1 Team in 2022. Read more here>>>
While Pietro Fittipaldi is set to test for the Haas F1 team in Bahrain this week, it was always unsure if the Brazilian, grandson of legend Emerson Fittipaldi, will actually get the drive alongside Mick Schumacher which was at first earmarked for Nikita Mazepin.
With the Russian and his Uralkali backers out of the picture, the Haas seat he vacates needs filling. Fittipaldi as test driver and reserve gets the nod for Bahrain, but beyond that, if he is unable to come up with funding, anything north of $10-million per year depending on who you believe.
Whatever the case Haas team boss Guenther Steiner can pick and choose who he wants in the seat but, in the end, the solution that costs them the least – even helps minimise the financial damage that is likely to have been done by the Uralkali/Mazepin contract termination – will be the most likely.
Here are the list of potential candidates who might actually get the Haas F1 drive this season:
Not the most experienced or decorated driver but nevertheless appears to be heading to the seat by default if he can come up with the backing. Apparently, the mood is bullish in Brazil, fans are keen to have a local driver on the grid again, time will tell if money will speak as large as words. For now, his main focus will be Bahrain testing, should he impress there he may well be living the F1 Dream this year.
The Italian 28-year-old would be backed by Ferrari, with that would be some sort of barter deal regarding engine supply and driver. An attractive option because Giovinazzi does bring experience, and would be a far better benchmark for young Schumie than Mazepin ever was. He brings money in the form of Ferrari PUs.
The sport’s greatest journeyman would not be a bad bet to tap into as far as experience goes. At 34 years of age he is currently the Aston Martin reserve, the Hulk has close contacts with Steiner and might just be the experienced stabiliser that team boss Gene Haas reportedly is seeking. The fact he brings no money will weigh against him.
His last race with Haas had a fiery ending, so much so one imagines the 35-year-old Frenchman has little desire to return and beat around the back of the field. Considering that right now he is a popular and hot property in Indycar with Andretti Autosport. Highly unlikely he will depart the states who are as enchanted with him as he is with them. He will bring no money.
K-Mag left F1 because he wanted to taste the champagne of victory once again. With Haas when he was winning was never going to happen, with Haas now it still won’t happen, so why bother returning? The fast Dane has a good deal with Peugeot to tackle the WEC’s exciting Hypercar class combined with a USA IMSA sportscar campaign with Chip Ganassi Racing. Like Grosjean, no money bags from Kevin.
The 20-year-old is one of the hottest properties, if not the hottest, on the fringes of F1. He missed out on an Alfa Romeo seat which went to Guanyu Zhou but his management team, including Mark Webber, are lobbying all they can to get Piastri on the 2022 F1 grid but one imagines, like the rest, Haas will be saying: Show us the money.
Meanwhile, that means we can tap up our readers for their opinion on the matter: