The Dane, current McLaren’s reserve driver, having lost his race seat at the team despite an remarkable maiden season in 2014 that included a podium on first appearance in Australia and a 9-10 qualifying record against Jenson Button.
He was certain to secure a return to a race seat in F1 for 2016, the US F1 outfit made contact with the Kevin – but team boss Gene Haas said the fact they were able to convince Grosjean to join from Lotus ultimately scuppered the deal.
“We talked to Magnussen, who was a very good candidate,” Haas told the official F1 website.
“He was very well respected by the McLaren team. In fact if Romain had declined we would have taken Magnussen as the primary seat.”
Once the Haas alternative came to zero, Magnussen hoped to replace Grosjean at Lotus, which is set to become the Renault factory team in 2016 F1, once a planned takeover of the team by the Renault is confirmed, but that seat has now gone to 2014 GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer.