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Haas granted F1 entry by FIA

NEWS STORY
11/04/2014

As anticipated, Gene Haas has been granted an entry in the 2015 Formula One World Championship.

In a brief statement the American, who is co-owner of the Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, said: "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."

In December the FIA opened a tender for the new team with a decision expected to be made on 28 February but this was delayed until an unknown date.

In January, Haas revealed his intention to enter F1, while it subsequently emerged that Colin Kolles, former team boss at Midland and its descendants, as well as HRT, is involved in a bid, Forza Rossa, funded by a Romanian consortium along with a third bid from Zoran Stefanovic of Stefan GP fame.

Speaking at the weekend, Ecclestone confirmed that not only would Haas' bid get the green light from the FIA but that another team - thought to be that led by Kolles - would also get approval.

Officially confirming the news, the FIA, following a meeting of its World Motor Sport Council, said: "In close consultation with the CRH (Commercial Rights holder), the FIA has accepted the candidature of Haas Formula LLC and are in the process of conducting further investigations for Forza Rossa".

Haas Automation, which was founded in 1983, is understood to be the largest CNC machine tool builder in the world, while he also founded the Windshear rolling-road wind tunnel, the world’s first commercially available, full-scale, rolling-road wind tunnel.

The new comes just in time for Haas, who initially is understood to be looking to use Ferrari technology, albeit coupled with a Dallara built chassis. With the original (February) decision delayed, the American recently admitted that he was running out of time if he was to make the 2015 grid.

"We needed to know about two months ago," he told the Associated Press at the weekend. "If Mr Ecclestone says that we’re accepted and the FIA issues us some kind of notice in the next few weeks, then we can entertain 2015. But if we lose another month, I don’t think we could do it."

Ignoring the ill-fated, indeed ill thought out, US F1 project, conceived by Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor and granted an entry in the 2010 world championship, but which was later withdrawn when the team admitted it was not in a position to race, the last American team to line up on the F1 grid was Haas Lola formed by Carl Haas and Teddy Mayer in 1984.

Based in England, and with backing from the Beatrice Foods company which also supported Haas' successful CART team, the outfit contested the 1985 and 1985 seasons employing 1980 world champion Alan Jones and Patrick Tambay. Its best result coming at Monza in 1986, where Jones and Tambay finished fourth and fifth, albeit two laps down on the winner, the team essentially folded at the end of the year due to financial difficulties, Beatrice having ended its sponsorship deal over the course of the year.

Ten years earlier, American fans enjoyed a slightly better F1 experience courtesy of the legendary Roger Penske who finally entered the sport, after years of speculation, in late 1974.

While the team was left reeling following the death of Mark Donohue during practice for the 1975 Austrian Grand Prix at the Osterreichring, a number of excellent drives in 1976, including a poignant victory at the Osterreichring, saw John Watson take the team to fifth in the Constructors' Championship. At season end however, Penske opted to concentrate his efforts purely on IndyCar.

While Gene Haas hasn't given any indication on who his drivers might be, there is already talk of Alexander Rossi being called up, whilst it should be noted that his NASCAR line-up includes Danica Patrick.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by bfairey, 14/04/2014 2:34

"Yea that should do it , Danica Pratrick and dont forget Scott Speed."

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2. Posted by Dudley Pope, 12/04/2014 10:39

"Excellent news but a mammoth task to undertake in less than a year even with capable technical partners, let's hope this one hit's the ground running!"

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3. Posted by F One, 12/04/2014 9:58

"The more the merrier. :)"

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