Haas announces FIA plans

Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been granted a Formula 1 license by the FIA. The news has yet to be confirmed by the federation, but Haas presumably knows what he is talking about.

“Obviously, we’re extremely pleased to have been granted a Formula One license by the FIA. It’s an exciting time for me, Haas Automation and anyone who wanted to see an American team return to Formula 1,” he said. “Now, the really hard work begins. It’s a challenge we embrace as we work to put cars on the grid. I want to thank the FIA for this opportunity and the diligence everyone put forth to see our license application come to fruition.”

101 thoughts on “Haas announces FIA plans

      1. They’ll be most likely racing the Caterham’s and Maurussia’s (if they are still in F1 when Haas arrives), I’d say she is as fast as the drivers that pay to race for those teams.

      2. whoa..Joe. Simona has a test deal and Susie tested . Danica has a win in Indy Cars and a 5th place at Indy and races every week in a tough crowd with some good finishes. She currently works for Haas-Stewart Racing,
        Don’t you think Go-Daddy would pay good bucks for a test deal? We’ll see how fast she is…and get great press for F1 here.

        1. and F1 cant afford her..she makes reported $15 million (5th place on sports women) and I understand thats under reported ..at least that with her contract with SHR..she brings Go-daddy sonsorship for her ride worth at least $12 million

          1. She is by far ..the fastest woman in racing..why not try F1? to say she is not fast enough is to say u wont give her a chance..that is sexist

            1. I object to that. I’m not sexist at all. It is not in DP’s interest to move. She’s an overpaid midfield racer and her fame is guaranteed in her own market. Why risk that? Remember that she has raced in Europe too and knows the level required. If you want to bang the drum about women racing drivers you should be talking Simona. Just watch… and in the meantime keep your rudeness to yourself.

            2. I agree with Joe here. Credit to Danica Patrick for all she has achieved, both as a driver and as a female driver, but don’t be deceived into thinking she’s a genuine top-liner in Indycars or NASCAR, let alone F1. If she was, she’d have won more – simple as that.

            3. I believe you’re wrong in branding Joe a sexist. He has written positive thing re Ms. Patrick in the past. She wasn’t the fastest when she was in Indycars and since I don’t think there’s anyone in Indycars fast enough for F1 I doubt she’s fast enough for F1.

            4. Eric, did you know that Danica Patrick never won a single automobile race in any category before her elevation to Indy Car in 2005? For seven years she raced Formula Ford, Formula Atlantic and IMSA GT w/o a single win. Her only win in an automobile race was the Indy Car fuel-mileage victory at Motegi, 2008. The only vehicles in which Danica has routinely won races have 6″ wheels, are powered by Briggs & Stratton, and use a rope-starter too “fire them up”. As for Danica’s “good finishes” in NASCAR, she is putting top-five equipment into 25-30th place, routinely.

              Joe is not being “sexist”, he is being analytical.

        2. Simona looks like the real deal. She has to prove herself. I don’t see anyone else on the horizon at the moment. Promoting the wrong person is hugely counter productive to the cause.

                  1. Either ought to do ok in F1 now, as drivers say the cars are easier to drive than of recent years. Also, the cars systems need more brain application, and the female of the species is adept at such usage, as well as being better at multitasking than us guys. Therefore, a good female racer should be able to make an impact now, such as might not have been so possible over the last 30 years.

            1. De Silvestro has become a pretty solid racer in the lights and Indy series. I believe she would have given Patrick a pretty good thrashing, on a road or street course, on Patricks best day. It would have been nice to see De Silvestro in a top Indy car team. It will be interesting to see how she does in an F1 car; I think she will be quick.

            2. Danica seemed to do well in those smaller, lighter cars, but Simona has improved as the cars have gotten faster, while Danica has gone backwards. It could be a lack of strength – she now does best on the flat throttle circuits like Daytona, where perhaps she can gain an advantage through carrying less weight. Simona doing well in Indycar without power steering bodes well (think similar to GP2) for stepping up to F1.

      3. I dont think she is fast enough in Nascar either, she still gets the sponsors though. Bring ‘The Outlaw’ Kurt Busch over, hes willing to drive anything.

  1. This is going to be fascinating actually, to see how the new teams measure up against Marussia and Caterham who have struggled to achieve such modest performance vs the rest of the grid. No doubt new entrants have reason to believe they can succeed but seeing how this is done will be done.

  2. With a state of the art wind tunnel at his disposal, it is easy to see why the FIA awarded the license to Hass. If he could bring forth the sponsors from his Nascar endevour, there is no saying what the team might be able to achieve.
    That said, a lot of this might depend on exactly that. I am not very sure about his Nascar sponsors being willing to invest in an F1 team. I hope this takes off, unlike the USF1 that got flushed.

          1. the biggest problem will be if Haas can get a resonable deal. A race series where u can start out small and work ur way to the front? Haas looked at where are his distributors.India, China, Singapre and ..I should start a F1 team..they sell CNC ..thye best that race teams do

  3. Interesting, so does this mean Haas is committed to setting up a new operation? Or can he still buy a currently running team? It’d be hectic if one team disappears as a new one springs up. What happened to the people who were working at HRT? WEC? Will they come back into F1 with Kolles?

      1. are u kidding..Haas sees a team spending $100 million for tenth place..ill spend 3 times that and my business is all over world where we have races..i can afford $300 mil and win

        1. I thought his big automation company ‘only’ had $100m in net profit per year.. that could be put towards an F1 budget, but I’m sure he’d look for sponsors as well.

      2. They were saying on the Darlington race broadcast Saturday night that it would be an entirely new operation.

          1. Yea, I couldn’t believe it. Lopez, Mallya, Fernadez, Manor(?), Sauber; talk about a buyers market.

            Joe, did you know NASCAR attendance and viewing is dropping. They are actually taking grandstands down at all the facilities. The average attendee is a 50 year old male.

    1. Since DM is tired of not winning (for all of three consecutive races) and is pulling out of F1, Red Bull would be up for sale, would it not?

  4. Joe, As more teams enter will we be back to “pre-qualifying” like in the early 90’s or does the number of cars removed in Q1 and Q2 increase?

    1. Last time pre-qualifying was applied, 26 cars were allowed to race – another two teams would only bring us back to that level. I’ve a feeling the limit may have been reduced to 24 in the meantime though… Anyway, I’d be surprised if there’s enough money around to fund two entirely new teams and keep all of the current walking financially wounded going.

    2. Darren, the number of cars dropped after Q1 and Q2 would increase. Pre-qualifying only happened when there were more than 30 cars entered to qualify. The maximum used to be that 26 could start the race, and the current rules only allow for 13 teams of 2 cars each having licence to compete, anyway.

    3. I think the rules have the number of cars eliminated in Q3 & Q2 increased. I also think the 107% rule still exists but can be waived based on FP results.

  5. The only sane take on this announcement is by Tony Stewart, Haas’ NASCAR partner; Tony the Tiger will have no part of the Haas F1 venture.

    1. I actually see a business split between these two coming soon – Tony wasn’t happy that as soon as he was in hospital a deal was made to add another car to the team with a driver that he isn’t particularity fond off. Not exactly what a ‘partner’ does to another – more so that Tony found out about the deal as he lay in hospital watching ESPN’s Sports Center… Now an F1 deal? Business and race focus split now with another series? I can’t know what the business arrangement is between them – but Haas is worth $250M (not to mention yearly revenue) and Stewart is worth $70M so one has more money then the other to offer a buyout if there is any unhappiness over this F1 project…

    2. actually Stewart is a partner..the guy only does racing..he has few million to poor into it..also owner of business worth over $50 million

      1. Ummm, yeah, I realize he is a partner Eric, I’ve visited their shop… A ‘few million to poor (sic) into it’ is a silly comment. Try needing $100M+ in this league.

  6. It’s a huge step for F1 having an American team on the grid again but I hope expectations are placed well in advance for the slow crawl from the back of the grid

  7. I hope Haas succeeds but I always figure that if Roger Penske can’t make the numbers work, who can? But you never accomplish anything if you decide from the start it can’t work. Hopefully an American driver like Rossi or Daly will be part of the team.

  8. Last year when a new team was being rumoured, nobody thought it could get off the ground quickly unless they bought an existing F1 team. I suggested it might be an established American racing group with money and facilities already at their disposal. I admit it was speculation on my part, but it was logical.

      1. And now Haas announces his F1 base will be at his NASCAR location. Because he has, you know, facilities there.

        1. I listened to the press conference and asked questions. My impression was that Mr Haas has no idea what he is walking into.

          1. I agree. Because nobody who knew anything about F1 and how it works would willingly get involved with such a dysfunctional, machiavellian group of scheming bastards.

          2. Glad to hear you say that, Joe. He seems from the outside like a serious individual. It’s a pity that some of his quoted comments (for example, about beating Europeans at their own game while- spending less-, because USA! and Waste! and Efficiency!) seem pretty patronising, or optimistic, or both.

  9. On the topic of buying another team rather than starting from scratch; wouldn’t that mean that the one team would then hold 2 entries? Or would the newly issued license be revoked. I’d imagine that license would then just be sold to someone else *cough*BMW*cough*… 🙂

    1. Mercedes would make the most sense for an American-based team. Renault doesn’t have a presence in the U.S., Ferrari is too much of a niche. Mercedes sells a lot of cars here. That, and they are certainly strong this year.

  10. Wow, glad to hear an American outfit is throwing their hat into the ring. But out of all the teams, Haas? Good luck.

    You think maybe a Roger Penske with his vast resources would like another shot at F1. He has a seasoned Montoya under his wing to get the team going in that direction.

    Hope more American teams/companies give it a shot.

  11. It is worth remembering that in the Penske Indycar glory years the cars were mostly Penske chassis (build in Poole, Dorset, England) or March (Bicester, England)

  12. The word in Australia is that Penske is coming into v8 supercars series with Marcos ambrose coming back to the series. This aligns with their recent purchase of a trucking business here

  13. I truly hope Mr Haas makes a success of his entry to F1, whether as a start up or buying an existing team. A question mark seems to hang over Marussia now that the road car operation has failed to appear, and in Manor, he has a turnkey operation, based in Europe to walk into. It seems to make sense to let the good people at Manor run the team for him, with a Merc engine deal from 2016, and try and establish the team as a solid entity. I just hope they do not throw in an American driver, male or female, just for the sake of having an American driver. If a young American embraces the European racing culture and builds a career rising through the lower formulae, and earns a chance by merit, then fantastic. I remember how Michael Andretti tried to base himself in America and drive for McLaren in ’93…..

  14. Gene Haas . Hmmmmn . Lets see now . He HAS no car . He HAS no sponsors . He HAS no drivers . He HAS no facilities [ that can support an F1 effort ] He HAS no team . He HAS no designers/engineers . Oh … but hypothetically he has an entry . And for that we’re supposed to get excited ? No … until Mr Haas HAS something of substance other than his over inflated ego and deluded sense of self worth . Mr Haas HAS nothing .

    Oh . But Mr Haas does HAS one thing . The potential to once again have us [US] be totally embarrassed again on the World stage .

    BTW .. as a historical reference . The ONLY US team to ever make a positive mark on F1 was Dan Gurney when he had his Gurney Westlake Eagle [ the most beautiful F1 car of all time in mine and many others opinion ] With that ultimately coming to naught due to lack of sponsorship . A problem especially in light of the fact that the top F1 teams [ e.g. McLaren etc ] are incapable of attracting sponsorship : should Mr Haas’s F1 entry become real [ doubtful ] he’ll be dealing with in spades . Especially considering the state of our US economy [ its on the knives edge of going into recession/depression once again despite the rhetoric from DC ]

    BWTM ! As to Long Beach ? If one read the news this week one would of found out that just like Detroit already HAS . Los Angeles is about to go into bankruptcy . With the additional news that over 1 million home in S. Cali alone are going into repossession . So a Long Beach F1 and Chris Pook ? A snowball stands a better chance in a blast furnace or the bowls of Hades .

    Hmmn . Maybe Mr Haas should keep his cake hole shut until he actually HAS something of substance other than a bunch of digital noise crowding the internet . Ahhh .. a fool and his money and the delusions of the wealthy . Always good for a laugh .. that can too often end up in tears . I’ll bet tears with Mr Haas . Any takers ?

    1. “Oh . But Mr Haas does HAS one thing . The potential to once again have us [US] be totally embarrassed again on the World stage . ”

      🙄 😆 🙄

    2. A little harsh wrt past US teams. The AAR Eagle was for sure a front-runner and won a race. But the Parnelli sometimes looked good in either qualifying or racing; the same could be said for the Penske in ’76, and it did win once and fairly. They all gave up and went home. All of the foregoing cars were based in the UK, where’s this Haas guy gonna work from?
      Anyway, it’s all reminding me of BAR. I have real trouble seeing even the best outsiders coming in and getting anywhere. BAR’s successors did eventually win, … maybe whatever Haas puts together will too once he transfers it to some real F1 people, like David Richards.

    3. Shadow did quite well in their first season, with George Follmer getting on the podium.

      As an aside, George Follmer is the best racing driver most people have never heard of.

    4. Haas already has a wind tunnel that is pretty advanced and reportedly used by an F1 team as well as IndyCar and AMLS teams. He’s running a three car team in NASCAR. He owns a very serious CNC operation. So he has some infrastructure. What I’d have thought would panic FIA was his conviction for tax skulduggery.

      1. The value of any F1 team is largely in the people, not the machinery. You need to have a cohesive unit that knows what it is doing and has the wherewithal to do the job. So Haas has a few machines, he needs a lot more than that. There are plenty of examples of people who thought they knew better… Haas would be wise to learn from their mistakes

        1. Or, perhaps he can get caterham results on much less cost. 😆

          Why, he could get the nsa to spy/steal everyone’s designs and install stuxnet/flame on all their autoclaves/equipment. That’s a new way to win, and apparently, the new “American way”…

  15. Off topic- I wouldn’t be surprised to see Simona take Sutil’s spot in a year or two. She’s really good, always drove for back marker teams in Indy but was very respected by her peers. Could be a soli F1 pilot.
    On topic- Haas should consider Renault; they better be giving discounts and I doubt they’ll be down for long. Also, can’t imagine a more costly and difficult undertaking than starting an F1 team from scratch. Godspeed.

  16. Question, Joe: What does the FIA examine in determining if an applicant is acceptable? I would think first and foremost financial backing, other than a person’s net worth.

    Any idea of the process the FIA uses??


  17. I really hope this works or dies a natural death before folks start jumping on the bandwagon and risking their jobs. Not the top tier high profile designers who earn a squillion pounds but the guys and gals that work night shift in the composite shop, that parts manager and 2nd mechanics. It may or may not be your own money you are using but is real lives.

    Good luck to all the crew of of USS Blindfaith…

    Seriously, good luck. 😀

  18. Joe, how about this as a compromise: new entrants (i.e. the entity or ‘franchise’ of a team, rather than simply a takeover of an existing team) can use a ‘customer’ car for up to two seasons after entry while they build up the technical and personnel resources necessary to design and build their own car, but for those two years be excluded from scoring Constructor’s points. This would give them a graduated entry to F1, after which they have to produce their own car or be cast out, never to darken our doors again etc. Alternatively they can take the plunge with a ‘proper’ car straight away, and enjoy the fruits of success if the score points.

  19. Joe, would buying the infrastructure of the Enstone Team not be an option for somebody like Haas? They’re clearly in trouble, and the factory and IP are all they have to sell to balance the books.

    1. He doesn’t want a UK base. Apparently, the technical HQ will be his US base, and all he wants in Europe is a race preparation shop, to be based in Germany or Italy.

  20. I think if it has to have any chance of success it needs to be based in the UK! it’s great that he is coming to F1, good luck to him!

  21. The sharks are going to eat his wallet.

    It’s pure idiocy to talk up two new teams when 4/5 or even 6? existing ones are struggling to stay operating.

  22. Hello Joe. Just seen your post on this on the Autocar website. Absolutely spot on. Like you, I’m baffled that such a smart guy can appear to be so detached from reality.

    If he’s right and the rest of us are wrong, there isn’t half going to be some ‘splainin to do…

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