Haas: The plan is absolutely to launch in 2016

Gene Haas

Gene Haas

Gene Haas has confirmed reports that his new Formula 1 team will not make it on to the grid until the 2016 season

Recently, it was reported the NASCAR team co-owner’s ‘plan A’ for his newly-granted Formula 1 entry Haas Formula was to join the grid next season.

But he confirmed this week to Formula 1 business journalist Christian Sylt: “From a personal standpoint, I really would have liked to go racing in 2015. It was hard to sit there and say no.

“Trust me, I really wanted to go,” Haas told Forbes. “The first year is always going to be going to be tough but I think that by waiting a year we will probably only have six months of it being really tough because we will be better prepared.”

Sylt said that the extra year will give Haas time to set up his design and aerodynamics department in North Carolina, and find a satellite headquarters in the south of England.

Stewart-Haas factory

Stewart-Haas factory

“The plan is absolutely to launch in 2016 and we are fully committed to that,” said Haas. “I don’t think there is any doubt about that whatsoever.”

Initially, the plan was to have the first Haas car built by the Italian manufacturer Dallara, while leaning heavily on Ferrari for technical support.

Haas said: “I think [that by debuting in 2016] we will be a better team because we will have more time to plan and we will be able to do a lot more engineering in Kannapolis.

“We decided that it would be better to be 100 per cent sure we are going to make the race rather than scramble and not make the race,” he added.

Haas will, however, be trackside this weekend in Montreal, as the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve hosts the Canadian Grand Prix.

“There’s a lot of logistics that we are going to learn and this weekend we are going to be asking a lot of questions like ‘How do you get that box from here to there?'” he said. (GMM)