Grosjean retains Haas F1 seat for 2020, Hulkenberg future uncertain

The Haas Formula 1 team will field an unchanged driver line-up in 2020, having opted to retain Romain Grosjean alongside Kevin Magnussen rather than taking Nico Hulkenberg

Grosjean retains Haas F1 seat for 2020, Hulkenberg future uncertain

Grosjean, who has been with the team since it joined F1 in 2016, faced doubts over his continued involvement with Haas past the current year, as team boss Gunther Steiner confirmed the likes of Esteban Ocon - now signed for Renault - and Hulkenberg were candidates to take his spot.

But it has been decided that Grosjean will remain part of Haas' F1 roster for a fifth straight season and will continue to partner Magnussen - whose contract already ran through 2020.

"I've always stated that it was my desire to remain with Haas and keep building on the team's accomplishments," said Grosjean.

"Having been here since the very beginning and seen the work both Gene Haas and Gunther Steiner put into the team to make it competitive, I'm naturally very happy to continue to be a part of that.

"To finish fifth in the constructors' championship last season in only the team's third year of competing was something very special.

"We've had our challenges this season, but we'll use both the experience of last year and this year to move forward into 2020.

"I'm looking forward to working with Kevin and the whole team and continuing our journey together."

Haas has endured a difficult campaign so far this year, as its VF-19 has proved fast over one lap but not competitive enough on longer runs - which the team has partly put down to its struggles with 2019-spec Pirelli rubber.

The outfit, which recently parted ways with title sponsor Rich Energy, currently occupies the penultimate spot in the constructors' championship.

"Experience, and the need for it, has been one of the cornerstones of Haas F1 Team, and with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen racing for the team in 2020, we continue to have a driver line-up that offers us a solid platform to continue our growth," team boss Gunther Steiner said.

"Their understanding of how we work as a team, and our knowledge of what they can deliver behind the wheel, gives us a valued continuity and a strong foundation to keep building our team around.

"It's been a tough year for us in 2019 with the fluctuation in performance of the VF-19, but our ability to tap into our combined experiences will help us learn, improve, and move forward as a unit in 2020."

Grosjean's new deal appears to be a blow to Hulkenberg's chances of staying on the F1 grid, with Renault's move for Ocon having cost him his current seat.

Hulkenberg has been positioned as an outside contender for a Red Bull-Honda drive, but Alfa Romeo now appears the most plausible option - should it decide to replace rookie Antonio Giovinazzi.

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