Haas exploring alternatives to Kevin Magnussen

Jaden Diaz

The Monaco GP was a disappointing event for Haas, with Kevin Magnussen triggering an incident that put both VF-24 cars out of the race. This is the latest page in an increasingly worrying chapter for Magnussen, whose future with the team is in danger. Ayao Komatsu has big decisions to make over the next few months.

As it stands, the driver market is extremely dynamic. Almost every team is working to finalise its 2025 line-up, with some key announcements approaching. However, it must first be recognised that Haas typically waits until very late in the season before making a decision.


Roughly eighteen months ago, Guenther Steiner chose to sign Nico Hulkenberg in place of Mick Schumacher. This decision was speculated about for months but only made official after extensive evaluation. In a similar vein, the team owners by Gene Haas are expected to bide their time.

Of course, this strategy means that some desirable targets could reach agreements that put them off the market. Luckily for Haas, there is a plethora of talent available.

Kevin Magnussen’s position is at risk, with the Danish driver currently in a very tough patch. Although misfortune saw him blocked in Imola and Monaco qualifying, his unforced errors have been a big theme in 2024.

Even putting aside these glaring errors, the pace difference with teammate Nico Hulkenberg is substantial. This is not to say the 36-year-old has blown Kevin Magnussen out of the water, but he enjoys a comfortable advantage. To be clear, there is no shame in this. Hulkenberg’s record in F1 is impressive – irrespective of surface-level analysis of his podium record.

With that said, the former McLaren driver’s results put him in a perilous position. Esteban Ocon is a driver who has been linked with a move to the US outfit. With tensions at Alpine on the rise, evidenced very publicly by Bruno Famin, Ocon is a driver whose days at Enstone could be numbered.

CIRCUIT DE MONACO, MONACO – MAY 24: Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team, on the pit wall during the Monaco GP at Circuit de Monaco on Friday May 24, 2024 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Sutton / LAT Images)


Haas are competitive enough to attract drivers in the midfield, whilst their Ferrari links give drivers something to aim for. Oliver Bearman remains a big part of Ferrari’s plans, so it would be premature to suggest that Ocon sees Ferrari as a fast track to the front of the field. However, at least in the short to medium term, Haas could be a healthier environment for the Frenchman. The Grand Prix winner is understood to be on Ayao Komatsu’s radar.

Zhou Guanyu is another option available to the American team. Although his results have not been spectacular this season, the 24-year-old is a dependable driver with plenty of commercial value. If he can secure better results later in the year, he could emerge as one of the better options for Haas as other drivers commit their services elsewhere.

The Monaco GP saw Haas accumulate millions of crash damages from the crash triggered by Magnussen. In F1’s cost-cap era, a safe pair of hands – though not a decisive factor – is not to be overlooked. Team principal Ayao Komatsu certainly isn’t working with the resources of the big teams. Zhou likely needs an uptick in form to really boost his chances, but he is still in the race.

For all these options, Kevin Magnussen cannot be written off. He is an experienced driver whose pace has shown itself on numerous occasions across the years.

Still, to keep his seat with Haas F1, he must rediscover his best form and – more importantly – sustain it.