Gene Haas explains F1 team plans
The NASCAR team co-owner was accompanied at a press conference on Monday by former Jaguar and Red Bull technical director Guenther Steiner, who will be team principal of the Haas Formula outfit.
Despite being given an entry for 2015, Haas says a decision on whether the team’s debut will be delayed to 2016 will be made within the next four weeks. “I would like to do 2015, simply because the first year is going to be a difficult year no matter what happens,” he explained.
“It’s a very big challenge and part of that learning curve is just simply getting to the track and sorting out the logistics of going from race to race, and the sooner we learn that, the sooner we’ll be done with that. It’s one of those things that we’re going to find out in the next few weeks, and hopefully in the next four weeks we should have an idea which year we’re going to pursue.” He added that “2015 is too close and 2016 is too far.”
He says the team will rely on third party constructors for car development as far as the rules will allow, and is hoping to form a technical partnership with a larger outfit.
However, the next step for Haas Formula is to secure a power-unit supplier. “The next thing to do is sit down and have some very serious negotiations with our partners,” Haas said. “There’s currently three engine suppliers for Formula One – Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari – so we have to narrow down the partner we’re going to work with.
“And that’s a very important part of it, figuring out who can provide us with the technical expertise that we’re going to need.”
The 61-year-old confirmed that the team will be based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, alongside his NASCAR outfit (pictured), with a smaller facility in Europe. “Ideally the main office will be here in Kannapolis,” he said.
“There may be a smaller office in Italy or Germany for assembly and disassembly of cars. It will depend upon who our technology partner ultimately is. That would be the logistics we would use. Nothing is cast in stone yet, we’re going to be flexible at it, we’re going to do what it takes, and we’re going to be efficient at it.”
Regarding drivers, he ideally wants an established and experienced racer alongside a young American. “At the moment we haven’t really narrowed it down. We’ve had quite a few people talk to us,” Haas added.
Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.