Haas still interested in F1 project despite Ecclestone doubts

Gene Haas

Gene Haas

NASCAR team owner Gene Haas has vowed to fight on for Formula 1, despite Bernie Ecclestone having said that a 2015 team entry for the American foray is “most unlikely”.

Even despite his fortune, his proven record as a NASCAR team co-owner and his state of the art wind tunnel and related businesses, Formula 1 supremo Ecclestone said recently he doubts that 61-year-old Haas is really prepared to spend what it takes at the pinnacle of motor sport.

“Somebody can have 10 billion in the bank but it doesn’t mean they are going to spend it,” Ecclestone was quoted by Formula 1 business journalist Caroline Reid.

Haas confirmed on Monday that Haas Racing Development has already paid the $5000 application fee to the FIA, after the governing body invited interest in the vacant 2015 team slot.

But “Mr Ecclestone doesn’t think I have enough money to do this,” Haas is quoted by the Associated Press, admitting the 83-year-old Briton was being “brutally honest” when he issued the warning.

“He doesn’t think [that] we will get the license. So my chances probably aren’t that great of a shot,” he added, revealing that he has also had a few meetings with Ecclestone.

Vowing to double the profits of his machine manufacturer Haas Automation to $2 billion a year, however, many believe that if any racing enthusiast has the money for Formula 1, it is the Californian. So why Ecclestone’s pessimism?

“That’s a little bit of a letdown,” Haas admitted, according to USA Today. “I respect the man, and it’s a very difficult sport, the highest echelon of racing in the world. They want teams that compete and stay for 10 years.”

“If Mr Ecclestone is saying we don’t have a chance of getting a license, it would be foolish to continue. I’m not sure what he’s trying to tell us. Maybe that it’s a very difficult sport.

“We’ve submitted information. Maybe we don’t have what they want.

“I don’t think it’s black and white,” he continued. “It’s their process. You have to be respectful of that. If you push it, seems [that] it doesn’t work at all.”

It could be that Ecclestone’s comments are the result of Haas vowing to go his own way, despite the fact existing competitive teams require mammoth annual budgets.

“The big teams spend $200 to $300 million but have 10 engineers working on one fitting,” said Haas. “I don’t think we’d approach it that way. But I can be naive, too.

“I just think we as Americans have the ability to take complex machines and figure out how to make them go fast without all the complexity. I could be wrong, but I have that gut feeling,” he explained.

“Everybody said I’m out of my mind,” Haas continued, “but the shock was when Mr Ecclestone said I don’t think these guys know what they’re doing. That’s tough to overcome.

“I won’t know until I try,” he is quoted by the Charlotte Observer. “If you don’t try, you’ll never fail.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

Content on GrandPrix247.com by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.

  • Hawk

    yes you Americans do have the ability… by pouring tons of gasoline in the carburettor

  • sarahsdadjeff

    I to want to have a team here in the states. So did Penske….c,Mon Bernie is playing him. Throw your money in the ring I say. It will be snatched an spent quick . But what the he’ll. He has money to burn. 5000 dollars. Get serious. You’ll be playing with the big boys.

  • Shin

    Ecclestone may have some valid points, in that F1 is nothing like U.S. racing series in terms of budget & complexity, but c’mon everyone that shows slight interest in IRL & Nascar known this guy along with Penske are the two you would want to have involved in F1.

    The have the facilities, they have the commitment, their true racers, and they will get a couple of big U.S. sponsors on board for sure. F1 should be so lucky to add Haas Racing to the mix!

  • captain tortuga

    @hawk.. you hit it spot on.. carburator 😉 forget about the tons of fuel 😉 lolz

  • ninjamonk

    It’s pretty simple really, He doesn’t want another team in F1 because it will cost FOM more money in transport and other costs. I hope they get in.

  • grat

    @hawk, @tortuga: A wise man once said it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than speak and remove all doubt.

    I’m guessing neither of you have been paying attention to recent GM or Ford engines, most of which are too technically advanced for F1– let’s face it, this is the first year they’ve allowed direct injection, and as far as I know, variable valve timing is still forbidden.

  • Matthew

    @grat Exactly. They’re angry that they need to drive little diesel slooooow hatchbacks because their country is under the control of the usa. I’ll take my midsize cars that get 40mpg and hit 60 in 6 seconds over their small cars that get 50mpg and hit 60 in 12 seconds any day. It’s not entirely their fault, they were brought up to hate winners. (red bull hate is a perfect example.) As for the carburetor comments… EFI was first put into commercial production in america in 1957. 2 years behind mercedes painfully unreliable 300sl. Ultra low volume and unaffordable as well, unlike the americans attempt, which was crude (all 1950s cars were.) but extremely reliable. Even japanese cars were not reliable in 1957. British cars? PLEASE! German cars were a very close 2nd to the us.

  • Monosodico

    but they gave a license ti Campos Racing, when they even had not a screwdiver.

  • Red Horizon

    “…because their country is under the control of the usa.”
    Sounds a bit arrogant.

  • LOL

    @Red Horizon
    as an irishman, I find it hilarious that britain is becoming the worlds laughingstock. And yes the USA does pretty much own the world. They also treat other countries much better then england did when they were a world power.