The FIA recently posted a tender announcement seeking new teams in Formula 1. One of those potential teams was Gene Haas of NASCAR’s Stewart-Haas racing fame. There are other potential teams as well including an effort by a former Romanian health minister with potential backing from the government as well a Romanian car manufacturer, Dacia. Former HRT boss, Colin Kolles, would lead the group.
The decision was delayed, for undisclosed reasons, but it is understood that Haas may have a very good chance at being selected. Haas is said to be aligned with Ferrari as a engine and transmission supplier and would most likely look to Dallara for a chassis with operations in the US. Haas also has a location in Brussels under the name of Haas Automation that is a global company that provides CNC machinery.
The details of when Haas would be ready to begin is an interesting plot twist as well as the we’ve seen reports of the Romanian contingency rumored to be shooting for 2015 with Haas described as viewing 2016 as the target date. In essence, the FIA could approve both but it would effectively come down to vetting the teams ability to fund the operation and have a plan for longevity in the sport.
While Kolles brings experience in F1, he also brings a track record of working for teams who have disappeared or been purchased leaving him without a role. Haas brings racing experience, team management, financial resource allocation and knowledge of team economics that sustains a long-term endeavor which, one would assume, would place him high on the list of possibilities.
All of this aside, there were also rumors (and these are really starting to pile up by now) that Cosworth has a keen interest in getting back into F1 with a new engine and a new board of directors intent on seeking financial investment and capital. It seems unlikely to me that Haas would role the dice on a power provider unless the engine supply was on the cheap and there were incentives for him to choose an un-tested format for his fledgling team.