Haas Formula 1 Reportedly Signs Naming Rights Deal With Maserati
Maserati will reportedly return to Formula 1 next year, "taking over naming rights for the Haas team as early as next week," according to MOTORING. Sources said that Sergio Marchionne, who is CEO of both Ferrari and Maserati’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, "will send the Modena brand back" to the F1 fray for the first time in nearly 60 years. Maserati was contacted for an official comment, "but its spokespeople knew nothing of the deal." After the Alfa Romeo-Sauber deal signed last week, Marchionne hinted that his F1 "deal-making might not be over." Marchionne said, "Is it possible for the Haas arrangement to turn into something other than what we have today? The answer is potentially 'yes.'" The deal would give Haas, the sport’s only U.S. team, its first major sponsor after two "self-funded years in the sport," with Maserati paying a rumored €20M ($23.6M) a season to paint its Trident badge on dark blue engine covers. Effectively, "the deal pays Haas’s Ferrari V6 powertrain costs." Like Alfa Romeo's sponsorship of "perennial black marker" Sauber, it "effectively sees" Maserati paying Ferrari €20M a season, via Haas. The Maserati-Haas outfit will be the fourth "Italian" team on the '18 F1 grid, though only Toro Rosso and Ferrari "will actually be based in the country" (MOTORING, 12/7). Haas F1 Head of Communication Mike Arning said in an email to SBD Global, "Haas F1 Team is having exploratory discussions with a handful of brands about future partnerships. However, all conversations are in their initial stages with nothing to report at this time" (Tyler Everett, SBD Global).