It’s official. America will get its own Formula 1 team as early as next year. The FIA and Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of Formula One Management, have approved NASCAR racing legend Gene Haas – co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing – to pilot a new US F1 team onto the grid for the 2015 season.
Aside from co-owning his own NASCAR team, Haas possesses some crucial tech to get his new F1 project up-and-running, including a $40 million rolling wind tunnel, Haas Automation (a world-leading machine tool manufacturer), and a technology base in Brussels, Belgium. Haas is expected to utilize a Dallara chassis and Ferrari power unit for his F1 entry.
While this should excite many American F1 fans, it does pose a few looming challenges, mainly the timeline. If Haas intends to be on the grid for the 2015 season opener in Australia, he’ll need to be quite far into the car’s development process by now, if of course he plans on being competitive. In comparison, Mercedes has been developing the championship-leading W05 chassis and engine since late-2011 when the regulation changes were announced.
But building a winning car is easier said than done. F1’s most recent upstarts – Marussia, Caterham, and the now-defunct HRT – have never even scored a world championship point.
[via BBC Sport]