Gene Haas: “We’re going to be an American led team”

Chairman Gene Haas and team principal Guenther Steiner took questions today with press on hand to discuss the formation of a their American based Formula 1 team (audio begins at :30):

Taking a no-nonsense approach, Haas and Steiner answered several questions, here’s a quick team rundown:

  • Team location: Kannapolis, NC in addition to a satellite in Europe
  • Team name: Haas Formula
  • Drivers:  None mentioned, but would likely be an experienced Formula 1 driver, ideally an American driver as well.

Outlining a will to succeed where others have not, Gene Haas’ no-nonsense approach to getting to the track in either 2015 or 2016 cited a key role partnerships would play between the startup phases and establishing Haas Formula on the grid.

With an eye to investing “billions and billions…”, Haas mentioned the waste both he and Steiner have see in the sport currently, and the opportunity to apply an American flair for “design and efficiencies”.

Central to the team’s strategy will be an American base in Kannapolis, North Carolina, with an additional European hub presumably to aid in logistics and liaise with future technical partners based there.

Questions ranged from the business and racing technology strategy to USF1 team’s previous attempt at getting on the grid.

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FIA Grants Gene Haas a Formula One Team Entry

Gene Haas has been granted an entry to build a team to compete in Formula 1, the following is an official statement from Mr. Haas:

 “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 One.  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.”

‘Founded in 1983 and based in Oxnard, Calif., Haas Automation is the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world.  Stewart-Haas Racing won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2011.  Haas also founded Windshear, a 180-mph rolling-road wind tunnel in Concord, N.C., that is the first of its kind in North America.  It is only the third rolling-road wind tunnel of its scale in existence and the world’s first commercially available, full-scale, rolling-road wind tunnel.’

America has a ticket again to get back on the grid with a new F1 team, and an official press conference is scheduled from Charlotte, NC on Monday the 14th – stay tuned!

Update:  You can follow the live press conference on Monday at 11am EST here for Q&A with Gene Haas.



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Gene Haas: “[F1] is filled with peril . . . If you don’t try you won’t fail.”

The thinking behind a new American Formula 1 team bid for the 2015 season was revealed in part at a recent NASCAR media tour interview when Gene Haas spoke to his interest in the sport as well as the opportunity to apply his experience in racing and business to Formula 1.

When asked why he wanted to form an American F1 team, Haas explained:

I think it’s an incredibly difficult challenge, its nothing to be taken lightly, its filled with peril, and there’s a million ways to fail, so for all those reasons, that’s why you do it, its to see if its something you can do.  I’ve learned a lot in NASCAR . . . so those things that we’ve learned I think would be something we could apply in Formula 1, the way we do business:  [Our] focus on racing and getting a car to the track and being able to compete in that forum.

I hold a tremendous amount of respect for NASCAR racing and the same thing for Formula 1, its a sport that has a legacy behind it , much like NASCAR or [IndyCar], I respect that and its a complex process trying to do that one step at a time, and I think it would be a great honor as an American to participate in that type of racing.  [F1] also has a good business aspect of it, too.  I think it has a lot of features that could fall in line with what we’ve accomplished here at Stewart-Haas Racing, so those reasons are the reasons to do it.

It certainly is an enormous challenge and something that cannot be taken lightly, but neither can NASCAR racing, but we’ve managed to succeed there, and its a challenge, that’s the fun part of life: If you don’t try you won’t fail.

The process of forming an F1 team for any new prospective candidate is just beginning, and Haas’ application is being reviewed at this time by the FIA based on the following:

  • the technical ability and resources of the team 
  • the ability of the team to raise and maintain sufficient funding to allow participation in the 
  • Championship at a competitive level 
  • the team’s experience and human resources 
  • the FIA’s assessment of the value that the candidate may bring to the Championship as a whole

A verdict is due from the FIA as to the suitability of applicants on February 28th.  Haas has told AUTOSPORT that they will be entering the FIA’s process for selecting new team entries as “Haas Racing Developments”, and Stewart-Haas racing partner Tony Stewart will be separate from the formation of the new F1 Team.


Stewart & Haas F1 questions at 11:00


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