Photo courtesy Haas F1 Team

F1: Haas to keep Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen for 2019

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SOCHI, Russia — Formula One team Haas says it is keeping drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen for next year.

Team principal Guenther Steiner says “retaining both drivers was a pretty easy decision” because of their experience and the team’s higher points total this season.

Grosjean, who has been with Haas since it joined F1 in 2016, failed to score points in any of the first eight races this year but turned his season around with a fourth-place finish in Austria in July.

He has amassed nine penalty points over various incidents, putting him on the verge of a one-race ban.

Magnussen is ninth in the standings, with Grosjean 12th heading into Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen takes pole at Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has taken pole position for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

It’s the second career pole for the Dutch driver, who beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by just 0.123 seconds.

Verstappen’s first pole was earlier this season at the Hungarian GP in August.

Six-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes will start from third position. The 2018 winner at Interlagos finished 0.191 seconds back.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon finished in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Hamilton was fastest in final practice earlier Saturday, 0.026 quicker than Verstappen.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday is the penultimate race of the season. Hamilton secured the season title, his sixth, in the previous race in the U.S.