Haas: A lot of F1 teams don’t understand what racing’s about

Gene Haas operates uniquely in the far removed worlds of Formula and Nascar, in the latter his Stewart-Haas Racing team has nine wins and is the so-called ‘big cheese’ in the All-American series while living life at the top of the midfield pack in the former.

The Haas F1 team owner has been in Formula 1 since 2016 and has been a fast learner. This year his team is battling for best of the rest behind the big three.

Without some erratic and costly performances by Romain Grosjean, the team could be further ahead of their midfield rivals and fourth place in the constructors’ standings by the end of the season is a real possibility.

The contrast in fortunes, between his Nascar operation and his F1 effort, does not impact the enthusiasm Haas has for his team in the top flight and he told Autoweek, “We’re really doing well. I learned a lot in NASCAR – it’s kind of the people you know, the relationships you’ve formed, and putting people in charge who really understand racing.”

“A lot of the other Formula 1 teams have business hierarchies that really don’t understand what racing’s about. I think they have a tendency to make some decisions that are a little more judgmental than, say, from a racing point of view.”

“In our third year, we kind of look at it as we keep moving the bar up. I think we’ve gotten into Q3 (third qualifying session) five or six times. We’ve double-scored points twice. Those are things that maybe don’t mean a lot to the big teams, but for us, that’s an accomplishment. If we finish fifth, we won. That’s what we think.”

“It makes life interesting to do a lot of different things. Racing and machine tools, for me, have always been one and the same. I feel very comfortable with that, but on the other hand, I have a lot of other racers who help with the racing.”

“Obviously, I have Tony Stewart as a partner (in NASCAR) and I have Guenther Steiner in Formula 1. So, if anything, they’re always keeping me apprised of what’s going on. I feel fairly confident with what they’re doing. They ask my opinion and as best I can, I give it to them.”

“I’m really just doing the same thing I did when I was 16 years old. I’m working on cars and building machines,” added Haas one imagines with the enthusiasm of a teenager.