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Magnussen, Giovinazzi, Fittipaldi - Who will take over from Mazepin?

Magnussen, Giovinazzi, Fittipaldi - Who will take over from Mazepin?

F1 News

Magnussen, Giovinazzi, Fittipaldi - Who will take over from Mazepin?

Magnussen, Giovinazzi, Fittipaldi - Who will take over from Mazepin?

Haas confirmed the news everybody in F1 was expecting given the ongoing crisis in Ukraine by terminating both Nikita Mazepin and title sponsor Uralkali's contracts at the end of last week.

The issue has been the second misfortune the team has had to deal with outside of its control in its short history in F1, following the Rich Energy debacle from 2019.

So with the start of the season just over a week away, who could step in to replace Mazepin alongside Mick Schumacher?

Pietro Fittipaldi

Haas' reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi seems logical for at least the first race, given team principal Guenther Steiner's confirmation that the Brazilian would receive the first call had Mazepin been released.

Fittipaldi has been the team's reserve driver for a number of years and certainly didn't disgrace himself when standing in for Romain Grosjean at the end of 2020 after the Frenchman's horrific Bahrain Grand Prix incident.

Other than Schumacher and Mazepin, Fittipaldi would have the most knowledge of the new VF-22 than anyone else, making him a prime candidate for the seat.

The Brazilian has been confirmed to drive at the second pre-season test beginning Thursday, but no official indication has been given as to whether he would continue into round one.

Antonio Giovinazzi

With the loss of sponsorship and despite Steiner's insistence the team has enough partners to get through the season without an effect on competition, it is not unlikely that Ferrari would help Haas out given its close ties to the team.

The Scuderia's reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi is out of a seat after being dropped by Alfa Romeo and has made the switch to Dragon-Penske in Formula E.

That contract may be difficult to escape unless he holds a release clause specific to F1 interest, but we have seen it before between the two series when Alex Albon joined Toro Rosso from Nissan e-DAMS, and Giovinazzi racing for Haas would be beneficial for both teams.

The Italian spoke at the end of last season on how he hoped to keep one foot in the paddock for 2023 so surely he would jump at the opportunity.

Kevin Magnussen?

Magnussen ended his relationship with Haas at the end of 2020 and has since gone on to begin a career in endurance racing, with an IMSA programme quickly followed by a call from Peugeot to be part of its new team in WEC.

Reports have suggested, however, that the Dane is on Haas' shortlist given his prior experience with the team.

But complications could come from the fact the first round of the IMSA series takes place on the same weekend as F1's curtain-raiser, whilst it may be unlikely Magnussen would give up the factory drive waiting for him in WEC.

The other obvious candidates from Ferrari's stable would have been Callum Ilott had it not been for his switch to IndyCar, whilst Robert Shwartzman, who has been waiting for his opportunity in F1, falls foul of the same situation as compatriot Mazepin.

Oscar Piastri is all but confirmed to be staying with Alpine, whilst F1's favourite super-sub Nico Hulkenberg is likely to remain with Aston Martin as its reserve driver.

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