With Antonio Giovinazzi taking part in seven free practice sessions for the Haas F1 Team later this season, the reasons why Kevin Magnussen will step down from driving in six of those races has been revealed.
Romain Grosjean’s contract with the team has a clause preventing him from standing down, although he did agree to allow Giovinazzi to drive his car in one of the events.
Grosjean looks at his 2015 campaign with the Lotus F1 Team as part of the reason for his insistence that he wouldn’t give up the car again, with the Frenchman having sat out thirteen of nineteen free practice sessions to allow Jolyon Palmer to take to the track.
“It was decided in 2015 when I signed my new contract,” said Grosjean. “Learning from the past! I can’t tell you what it says, but basically after I left Lotus, I didn’t want to leave my car any more.
“Gunther [Steiner, team boss] asked me if I was wiling to give one, and I said yes, and I think for the team as well it is good to have a certain consistency, and being able to develop the car as well.”
Team-mate Magnussen admitted he expected the contracts for both drivers to be the same, but he has no issues to allow Giovinazzi the chance to take over his car.
“It was in the contract that I was offered,” said Magnussen. “And I didn’t know the other contract was like that! I assumed it would be the same, so I said, ‘No worries.’ It’s not a big deal.
“I think Romain had a bad experience with his previous team where they took all his Fridays, and for sure he was a lot harder on that point than I was.
“They offered it to him, they offered us the same contract, but he clamped down on Fridays, because he had a bad experience, and I didn’t worry.
“It’s not perfect, it’s not the best way, but I’m not too worried about it. I’ll just have to make up for it.”