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Haas: Liberty has been fortunate

NEWS STORY
25/10/2018

Pointing to NASCAR, in which he runs a successful team, and the example of the three teams that entered F1 in 2010, two of which subsequently disappeared with barely a trace, Gene Haas suggests that the sport's owners are fortunate that some of the existing teams haven't gone under.

Using NASCAR, which has lost a number of teams in recent times, as an example, he tells Motorsport.com: "That is the bad side of racing... you see people who have spent fortunes in racing and walk away with nothing. It's pretty common, so you have to be doing it for the love of the sport.

"But we're starting to see how racing teams in all venues are looking," he adds. "The promoters expect to make money in business, the race tracks all expect to make money as a business and they make money at it, it's almost like the team owners should never make money.

"That business model, how it got that way, we don't know," he admits. "In NASCAR the owners are saying 'everyone else seems to make money, why shouldn't we make money?'" I think it is changing, because in NASCAR a lot of the teams are disappearing.

"Force India was almost on the way out," he continues, "if it wasn't for Lawrence Stroll stepping in and saving them or Sauber, those teams would have been gone. The fact that they were saved, saved Liberty Media from having to scramble. If a few of those teams were to drop out it probably would force the issue of how do we fund teams?"

With the likes of former-giants McLaren and Williams now crying for a restructuring of the prize money distribution, Haas admits that the lack of progress on the issue, not ot mention the engine rules is worrying, admitting that for the first time since buying the sport Liberty Media is coming to realise that getting all the teams to agree is like herding cats.

"They can't agree on anything," he admits, "they can't agree on engines, they can't agree on rules, but that's pretty typical for F1 when you get a committee together. It's like getting ten people to go through a door, it just doesn't work.

"I can't speak for Liberty but I think they probably thought that they were going to have a lot more freedom to do what they wanted. But now they've run into the same problems that we all run into, which is that you've got all kinds of rules and agreements, and FIA and FOM and team owners."

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