Rumor: Haas closing on Mazepin, Ilott or Schumacher for 2021 (2nd Update)

Today’s announcement that both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean will leave the Haas team after this season opens up both seats for 2021, hence we are now raising this rumor up from ‘speculation’ to ‘strong’

October 21, 2020 

(GMM) Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean have now been told they will not be re-signed by Haas for the 2021 season.

Citing ‘a number of sources’, Ekstra Bladet newspaper claims the news should be announced ahead of this weekend’s race in Portimao.

The small American team did not comment.

But it is believed Haas will oust its current drivers and instead field the heavily-backed Russian rookie Nikita Mazepin alongside a Ferrari academy driver in 2021.

Luigi Perna and Mario Salvini, writing in Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, believes Mazepin’s teammate will be Mick Schumacher.

With Giovinazzi staying at Alfa Romeo, Ferrari Academy driver Mick Schumacher, instead of Callum Ilott,  will be farmed out to the Haas team.

That is because Ferrari wants Alfa Romeo’s current driver Antonio Giovinazzi to stay next year, even though it had been rumored that he would be replaced by Schumacher.

“In 2021, the influence of Maranello guarantees him and Mick seats at Alfa Romeo and Haas,” the Italian correspondents wrote.

With Kimi Raikkonen expected to also stay at Alfa Romeo, it puts in doubt the rumored F1 debuts of Ferrari juniors Callum Ilott and Robert Shwartzman next year.

Haas boss Gunther Steiner told Sport1 that he wants the team’s 2021 drivers to also commit for 2022.

“One of the things I want to be sure of is keeping the 2021 drivers in 2022 as well, because there will be completely new regulations,” he said.

Ekstra Bladet’s sources believe Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were never under consideration for seats at Haas. Hulkenberg is instead hoping for a seat at one of the Red Bull teams.

Perez and his Mexican backers, meanwhile, are being linked with Williams, replacing the Mercedes development driver George Russell.

Williams said it will not comment on rumors.

October 11, 2020 

(GMM) Nikita Mazepin (pictured above with billionaire father)  is poised to sign a deal to race with Haas in 2021, according to the French broadcaster Canal Plus.

Team boss Gunther Steiner has already confirmed that he met at Sochi recently with Mazepin’s father, the wealthy Russian oligarch Dmitry Mazepin.

There are rumors Mazepin Sr. is looking to buy the American team.

When asked about Mazepin’s 21-year-old son Nikita, who is currently sixth overall in Formula 2, Steiner admitted: “It is a very good year for drivers in F2 and of course Mazepin is one of those drivers.

“So why wouldn’t he be on the shortlist?”

Also high on Haas’ 2021 shortlist is Callum Ilott, a Ferrari junior driver, while recent rumors strongly linked Sergio Perez with a seat as well.

Is Ilott bringing a large check too?

Tellingly, Steiner is not denying that both of the team’s current drivers, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, could be ousted.

For his part, Frenchman Grosjean says he is “extremely interested” in Peugeot’s new Hypercar project for the 2022 Le Mans.

“If we decide something, our drivers should be the first to know. They deserve that,” said Steiner.

“Due to all the circumstances, we need a little more time. But I’m sure that Kevin and Romain will not sit at home waiting for my call.

“They need to look around because everyone does that, including us. I will not be angry that they communicate with others.”