Formula One (F1) has accepted an application to allow a team from the USA to compete in F1 racing. Gene Haas, who is a co-owner of a NASCAR team with Tony Stewart, was granted entry of a team to the Formula 1 circuit by Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body for the racing series, as early as next season.
The attempt to run a team by American Formula One in 2010 was met with a lack of funding. This led to the team not being able to build a car. Prior to that attempt, there was a two-year period that started in 1974 when the legendary Mario Andretti drove for the US-based Parnelli Jones Racing. There was a US team that was based in London and raced in the 1985 and 1986 seasons. The Haas team will be the first team actually based in the US in over 40 years to race.
Haas should not have the money issues that the failed attempt 20 years ago had. The NASCAR co-owner owns CNC machine manufacturer Haas Automation as well as a wind tunnel in North Carolina. The wind tunnel will be a big part of the testing of cars for the new team. As of now the team will be Haas Automation.
Now that Haas has had his USA Team application accepted by Formula One, he will be setting up shop in North Carolina next to his NASCAR operation. It is currently not clear how much of his NASCAR team if any will transition over to the Formula 1 team. Stewart has announced that he will not be involved in this venture. Stewart is happy for his business partner and knows that it was not an easy task for Haas to get his application accepted by FIA.
With the 2015 season set to start in March, that gives Haas eleven months to put his team together and build the cars needed. The team will be competing against cars made by various car manufacturers with engines from Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda.
Haas should have no problem finding drivers for his team. As soon as the news that the Haas announced that he would be fielding a F1 team, Indy Car driver Carlos Munoz expressed his interest to take control of one of the USA cars. The 22-year old Columbian driver is currently driving for Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar series.
F1 is a single seat auto racing series that features multi-turn courses. The cars will reach speed of 220 miles per hour. Races, or Grand Prix’s, take place all over the world. There are two races scheduled for the 2015 season in the United States which will give fans a chance to see the USA team in action on home soil. Those races will be in New Jersey and Austin, Texas.
Haas has the large-scale racing background that should help the USA team be competitive and has high hopes that F1 racing will be a way to introduce Haas Automation to the world. Currently Haas Automation is bringing in $1 billion a year. Running a Formula One team could double that number.
Now that Formula One has accepted a new USA team, Haas and his team will be hard at work getting things going. The team will need to have cars built soon to test them and get up to speed for the start of next season.
Commentary by Carl Auer