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Magnussen 'very surprised' to get Haas callback

Kevin Magnussen has admitted that he was taken aback after receiving a phone call from Haas asking him to drive for the team in 2022.

Kevin Magnussen's return to a full-time Formula 1 cockpit has come as a surprise, not least for the Danish driver. Magnussen had walked away from F1 at the end of 2020, as he, along with then-teammate Romain Grosjean, were both dropped in favour of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. Magnussen had started racing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship with Chip Ganassi Racing, as well as a Le Mans 24 Hours attempt in the LMP2 class. He also appeared for a one-off appearance with McLaren at the Road America round of the IndyCar series. With Haas requiring a driver to replace the ousted Mazepin as the American-led team severed ties with their Russian driver, as well as title sponsor Uralkali, the favourites for the seat originally appeared to be Pietro Fittipaldi or Antonio Giovinazzi. However, with Haas making it clear the team were chasing an experienced driver to line up alongside Schumacher, a call to their former man has met with a successful comeback for Magnussen. "I was obviously very surprised but equally very excited to receive the call from Haas," Magnussen said. "I was looking in a different direction regarding my commitments for 2022 but the opportunity to return to compete in Formula 1, and with a team I know extremely well, was simply too appealing."

Magnussen thanks his former employers

With Magnussen due to continue racing for Chip Ganassi Racing, as well as with Peugeot's Hypercar World Endurance Championship entry, he thanked the two teams for releasing him from his contracts in order to return to F1. "I really have to say thank you to both Peugeot and Chip Ganassi Racing for releasing me promptly – both are great organisations," he said. "Naturally, I also want to thank [Haas team bosses] Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for the chance to resume my F1 career – I know just how competitive they both are and how keen they are to return to competing week in and week out." Magnussen is set to join Schumacher and Fittipaldi for pre-season testing in Bahrain this week, where he'll get his first taste of an F1 car since the final race of the 2020 season. Although a steep learning curve awaits, he explained his excitement at getting a chance to return. "We've enjoyed a solid relationship and our positive association remained even when I left at the end of 2020," added Magnussen. "I've been briefed as much as possible on the development of the VF-22 and the potential in the package. There's work to do but I'm excited to be a part of it. "I can't wait to get back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car in Bahrain."

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