U.S. Team Led By NASCAR's Gene Haas Is 'On Track' To Join Formula One
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said that a new team run by American businessman Gene Haas "is on track to join Formula One next year," according to Christian Sylt for the London INDEPENDENT. It will become the sport's 12th team and the first from America since the '80s. The team is run by Haas, joint owner of Stewart-Haas Racing team, which competes in the NASCAR stock car series. Ecclestone: "I think Haas will be accepted. They have got the money but it's a question of whether they are going to spend it." In addition to his stake in the NASCAR team, Haas is also the founder of leading American engineering firm Haas Automation, which has annual revenues of around $1B. It "gives him the resources to fuel his bid and he is already using it to attract top names." Günther Steiner, a former technical director of the four-time F1 champions Red Bull Racing, "is understood to be involved." Ecclestone "was initially dismissive of the bid from Haas but has been convinced that the team has the wherewithal, at least initially." Ecclestone: "A billion would last a new team owner four years. I've spoken to Haas, but I don't know what they are going to do. It's America, so I don't know." Other applications "are understood to have been filed" by former HRT head Colin Kolles and Stefan GP, a Serbian organization that bid for an entry in '10 (INDEPENDENT, 4/3).