Haas: I didn’t get into F1 to sell

Haas F1 Team owner, Gene Haas, insisted in the aftermath of Guenther Steiner’s departure, that he has no plans to sell his Formula 1 outfit.

After eight years in F1, the only thing Gene Haas can be happy about with his team is the fact that the value of his team has sky rocketed.

These days, and in the worst case scenario, an F1 team is valued in the region of $900-Million to $1-Billion, but that does not mean Haas is looking to sell his team.


Speaking to Formula 1’s Official Website, Haas was discussing the matter of Steiner’s departure, and went on to talk about the future of his team, insisting there are no plans to offload the outfit.

“I didn’t get into F1 to sell [the team],” he said. “I did it because I wanted to race. Guenther [Steiner] had the same perspective. We’re not here to cash out, we want to race and be competitive. If you look at any team, historically, they have had a lot of good years and a lot of bad years.

“Surviving is one of the characteristics of getting better. As long as you can survive, you always have another year to prove your worthiness. This is a big change. Losing Guenther is going to cause the team to have to focus on other aspects. We will hopefully come out better for it,” he added.

Indeed, Steiner has done well to keep the team – that is always in need of cash injections – afloat, regardless of the on track results, and while the Haas F1 Team was founded on a different philosophy, with chassis being outsourced from Dallara, as well as much components as the rules allow, Haas claims it still is expensive, despite the $140-Million mandatory cost cap.

He said: “There is a perception we spend a lot less money; we’re usually within $10m of the budget limit. I just think we don’t do a very good job of spending that money.

“A lot of teams have had previous investments in their infrastructure, buildings, equipment and personnel. Our model was to outsource a lot of that. We spend a lot of money. We haven’t exceeded the cap but we’re pretty darn close to it.

“I just don’t think we’re doing a very good job of spending it in the most effective way,” the American maintained.

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Going forward, Haas is looking to apply the same practices that he has in place in his Haas Automation tooling business, efficiency being a key word for survival.

“That’s one of the reasons we have survived – because we are so conscious of how we spend money,” he claimed.

“Being efficient at what we do is going to make sure we survive in this series,” he added with regards to the F1 team. “We’re one of the longest surviving teams, everyone else [other new teams] have had the tendency to spend all their money in the first few years and then they go out of business.

“We survived for eight years, and we’re not in a situation where we are going to go out of business. But I certainly want to be able to survive for the next 10 years,” Haas pointed out.

The Haas F1 Team owner weighed in on the situation with sponsors and investors, claiming they come with outlandish expectations with regards to their return on investment.

“We have had outside investors come in, and they want to talk to us,” he revealed. “They expect a 15% rate of return every year. Give me a 15% rate of return and I have a couple of hundred million dollars I’ll give you! They have high expectations, they have all kinds of rules.

“What their job is, they want to buy into you, and five years later they want to make a $100-Million profit. Quite frankly, I don’t need that kind of oversight, from people who come in with $200Million – it’s not enough to entice me to do that,” the 71-year-old concluded.