NASCAR team owner Gene Haas – the one half of the Stewart-Haas racing team – has revealed his plans to apply for the twelfth team entry that the FIA has opened up to compete as early as the 2015 season.
The Stewart-Haas team has been a major player in the NASCAR scene for over ten years. The team won the Sprint Cup title in 2011 and currently runs four Chevrolets for Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick.
Haas’ outfit is one of three organisations known to have submitted a formal response to Formula 1’s governing body before the February 10 application deadline. A formal decision will be made by the FIA before the end of the month.
The other two entrants reported to have submitted applications are Kolles Racing – headed by on-and-off team principal Colin Kolles – and Stefan GP, which staged a last-ditch bid to enter Formula 1 for the 2010 season.
The announcement was confirmed via a statement issued by Haas, after news of his team’s interest was leaked to the press. It is understood that Haas is keen on commissioning a chassis from Dallara and securing the use of customer Ferrari V6 turbo engines.
“We have responded to the FIA’s ‘call for expression of interest’ regarding a Formula 1 entry on behalf of Haas Racing Development,” he said in a media release.
“We respect the FIA’s evaluation process and will share more details in the coming weeks.”
Haas’ team would be headed by Günther Steiner, who had a stint as one of Jaguar Racing’s (many short-lived) managing directors, later returning to the sport with a second unsuccessful tilt, this time as Red Bull Racing’s technical director in the pre-Newey era.
Haas’ operation has its own F1-style windtunnel at its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina – the same town where the stillborn USF1 Team (headed by Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor) was formed ahead of its failed attempt to join the Formula 1 grid in 2010.
Should Haas’ plans get the green light by the FIA, his outfit would become the first United States-based team on the grid since the Beatrice Haas Lola effort, which ran from 1985-6. It was run by Carl Haas, who is not related to Gene.