Gene Haas says he expects his new F1 team to be competitive when it enters the sport next year. Already with a team in America's premier series Nascar, the Californian has now founded an F1 outfit that has aligned closely with Ferrari ahead of its 2016 debut.
Recent history has shown that joining the expensive F1 circus is difficult for a new team, as HRT and Caterham are now defunct and Manor is struggling on in the wake of the Marussia demise. "We (Haas Automation) build machine tools, so we want to be able to do the most difficult racing in the world, because making machine tools is also a very difficult business to be in," Haas said at the recent launch of the new Haas Factory Outlet in Portugal.
And Haas, 62, said he is confident Haas F1 Team can swerve the mistakes made by the sport's most recent small entrants. "We have a Nascar team that is racing over ten years now, and we've been successful. We won two championships. We understand racing and we are approaching racing from a different point a view from our predecessors," he said.
Indeed, rather than the usual 'go it alone' mentality of full F1 constructors, Haas and partner Ferrari are pushing the limits in terms of what is allowed in terms of technology sharing. Haas explained: "As important as it is to build your own cars and have technology, we also think it is important to win races."
"We are looking at it from the racing standpoint. We are at the track to compete, and to achieve that we looked for the most efficient way to do it. I won't say that we are going to compete with Mercedes and Ferrari, but we will be prepared," he added. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing