The Schumacher name could be making a return to the F1 grid next season after the Haas team announced the departure of both of its drivers ahead of the 2021 season.
The American F1 team announced the tenures of both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen would be coming to an end after the 2020 season, leaving two vacancies for them to fill.
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News of Grosjean and Magnussen’s exits has prompted speculation Mick Schumacher, the son of F1 legend Michael, could join the team for the 2021 season on the back of his impressive debut season in Formula Two.
Haas is linked to Italian manufacturer Ferrari through it’s engine supply deal with the legendary team with whom the elder Schumacher won five consecutive drivers championships from 2000-2004.
The exit of both drivers from the Haas team, which Grosjean said was due to financial reasons on the team’s behalf, opens two more seats on the grid in what is shaping to be one of the busiest off-seasons in the sport’s history.
There has already been movement between teams earlier in the year, with a merry-go-round between Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Racing Point resulting in Carlos Sainz Jr racing for Ferrari next year, Daniel Ricciardo switching to McLaren, Sebastian Vettel joining Racing Point, which will be rebranded to Aston Martin, and Fernando Alonso coming out of retirement to join Renault, which will go through a rebrand of its own, to Alpine.
Additionally, both of Alfa Romeo’s drivers (Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi) are out of contract, while Red Bull and sister team Alpha Tauri also have vacancies to fill.
Haas will not be renewing contracts with either Magnussen or Grosjean. It'd be good to see Nikita Mazepin in one of those cars - particularly if Hitech are involved; and another door potentially opens for Mick Schumacher. Hopefully Nico H will also be in the mix.
— Peter Windsor (@PeterDWindsor) October 22, 2020
Haas F1 team make brutal call on Grosjean, Magnussen
Grosjean and Magnussen, both highly experienced F1 campaigners in their own right, were of the mind their departures from Haas meant it was unlikely they would return to the grid in future.
French driver Grosjean, who scored 10 podiums in his three-year stint with Lotus, said it was ‘likely’ 2020 would be his final F1 season.
“Most likely Formula 1 is closing its doors (to me),” Grosjean told Sky Sports.
“There aren’t many seats left available.
“It’s never impossible, so never say never, but also there are other challenges that I’m ready to tackle. Different challenges, different categories.”
While Grosjean was more at peace with his exit from the sport, Magnussen hinted driving ability wasn’t the sole reason why both drivers were being shown the door.
The Haas team operates on one of the lowest budgets in F1, and has struggled to make an impact since their impressive 2018 campaign.
Magnussen hinted the team could be searching for a driver who could bring along sponsors to aid the team’s budget.
“It’s pretty clear that I can’t bring what some of the drivers can bring out there,” he said.
“I can bring me as a driver and try and do a good job, but in this day and age, and particularly this year with the current situation of the world, it isn’t easy if you can’t bring any more than just your driving.”
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