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Magnussen and Grosjean retain Haas seats

Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean will remain with Haas for the 2019 Formula One season.

Magnussen is ninth in the driver standings with 49 points in his second season with the American team following his move from Renault.

Grosjean, who has driven for Haas since its inception in 2016, has 27 points to his name, leaving them fifth in the constructor standings ahead of the Russian Grand Prix this weekend.

Team principal Guenther Steiner said the duo deserved to keep their seats following what has been Haas’ best season.

“From the very beginning, we needed experienced drivers to hasten the development of our car and our team, and we have two very good and experienced drivers in Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen,” said Steiner.

“We’ve improved drastically from last year to this year, so retaining both drivers was a pretty easy decision.”

He added: “I think the 100-point barrier should be and will be broken, and we’ll do it with Romain and Kevin.

“Both drivers push each other to be better, and their collective feedback allows us to be better. It’s not a coincidence that in their second year as team-mates, Haas is having its best year.

“By keeping Romain and Kevin together, we aim to do even better next year.”

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FIA Grant Haas Free Pass to Break Curfew after Grosjean Crash

Romain Grosjean admitted that he initially did not know it was a loose drain cover that caused him to crash during the second practice session at the Sepang International Circuit on Friday, and it was only the revelation of seeing it back that made him understand what occurred.

The Haas F1 Team driver was the unfortunate one to hit the dislodged drain cover with around ten minutes of the session remaining, with his tyre immediately puncturing and disintegrating, before Grosjean span across the gravel trap and into the outside tyre wall.

The FIA have given the team a free pass to break curfew and repair the car overnight, thanks to the crash being neither the driver nor the team’s responsibility, but Grosjean acknowledges they will have a lot of work to do.

“I thought I had blown up a tyre on the kerb as I didn’t see the drain at all,” said Grosjean. “When I saw the footage a bit later on with the drain coming out and hitting the tyres, I understand what happened.

“It is unfortunate but I am lucky that we are good. There is a lot of damage on the car. The guys are going to work very, very hard to get it back in one piece, and I am sure the FIA and the circuit are looking into it and finding solutions for tomorrow.

“We had a brand new floor and that is gone, and a new front wing is gone as well. So some parts that we cannot replace to be as good as they were.”

(Paul Hensby)