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NASCAR team boss seeking F1 entry

NEWS STORY
16/01/2014

NASCAR team owner Gene Haas is understood to be one of three potential bidders for a slot on the 2015 F1 grid.

Following the FIA's appeal in December for a candidate team to participate in the world championship from the start of the 2015 (or 2016) season up to 2020 inclusive, it is believed that three potential entrants have shown interest.

Announcing the move on 11 December, expression of interest had to be registered with the FIA's Secretariat before by close of business on 3 January together with an administration fee of $5,000.

Following the expression of interest, a full application would need to be submitted by 10 February with a decision due from the FIA on 28 February.

Along with Colin Kolles, who previously ran Force India, and its forerunners... Jordan, Midland and Spyker, not to mention a spell with HRT, another expression of interest came from Zoran Stefanovic of Stefan GP fame.

However, the most interesting expression of interest is that of Gene Haas, co-owner of the Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR team and boss of Haas Automation a major CNC machine tool builder.

Having won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2011 with Stewart-Haas Racing, Haas today announced his interest in entering F1.

"We have responded to the FIA's 'call for expression of interest' regarding a Formula One entry on behalf of Haas Racing Development," he said in a statement. "We respect the FIA's evaluation process and will share more details in the coming weeks."

Interestingly, Haas owns the Windshear wind tunnel facility in Concord, North Carolina, which has been used by various F1 teams over the years. However, while the prospect of a new team entering the sport, encouraged by the FIA's determination to cap spending, the fact is we've been here before, just a couple of years ago.

Caterham and Marussia, in different guises, along with Hispania, were encouraged to enter F1 in 2010, again enticed by a budget cap that would level the playing field. Ahead of their fifth season in F1 they have yet to score a point and face an uncertain future as costs continue to rise, a situation not helped by the introduction of the biggest raft of rule changes in living memory.

According to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, if successful, Haas’ team, which would be based not too far from the home of the ill-fated US F1 project, and overseen by former Jaguar F1 boss and Red Bull technical director Gunther Steiner, would use a Ferrari engine and gearbox and a Dallara chassis.

Chris Balfe

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1. Posted by Chris Balfe (editor), 20/01/2014 19:19 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 20/01/2014 19:35)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

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2. Posted by bfairey, 17/01/2014 10:46

"Didnt Haas have a go at F1 with Beatrice in the 70-80's"

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3. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 16/01/2014 22:35

"I see from wiki that Gene Haas has had a 'run in' with the IRS - should fit in well (verdics and trials pending) with certain member of F1.

Is there any connection with the Beatrice Haas Lola?"

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