New American team granted 2015 F1 entry
FIA accepts US entry from NASCAR magnate, but sceptics question team’s ability to compete effectively
NASCAR team boss Gene Haas has won FIA backing in his attempt to run an American team in F1. Four years after the failure of the ill-fated US F1 project, which collapsed before making it to the grid in 2010, F1’s governing body has accepted an entry from Haas for 2015.
Haas plans to base the team in Kannapolis North Carolina, not far from Charlotte, where US F1 was based. His machine-tools company has an ofce in Brussels but this may not be used.
“Ideally,” he said, “the main ofce for F1 would be here in Kannapolis, and there would maybe be a smaller ofce somewhere in either Germany or Italy for the assembly and disassembly of cars.”
Haas insists he can make the project work, and is planning a technical partnership with Italian race-car constructor Dallara.
“We’re new to this,” he said. “There is going to be a big learning curve, and to sit there and say we can understand what’s going on with these cars within a year or two is not reasonable.
“It’s going to take us a while to learn, and we’ll lean heavily on a technical partner to help us.” Former F1 and NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya has said the plan is “completely mad”, but Haas insists it is possible.
“Haas Automation builds machine tools in California, the most expensive state in the Union as far as taxes go. We’re doing it in a place where nobody thinks you can build machine tools efciently, yet we do that.
“We have set a precedent in terms of making a good product at a reasonable price, and I would hope, going forward, we can put those same parameters to work in Formula 1.
“Lots of people say that it can’t be done but, like I say, we do things that other people say can’t be done all the time, so we’re not afraid of that. That’s something that I’m looking forward to. It’s one of the challenges presented by trying to run an elite racing team without spending billions of dollars.”
Could the US GP in Austin be graced by the presence of its first US-based team in 2015?
Gene Haas has enjoyed success in NASCAR and now seeks to expand into Formula 1