Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR team, has confirmed that he has been granted a Formula 1 license by the FIA.
Haas – no relation to his namesake, the American racing legend Carl Haas – was one of a number of figures who submitted applications to the FIA when it announced that it was looking to return to a twelve-team grid for the 2015 season any beyond.
“Obviously, we’re extremely pleased to have been granted a Formula One license by the FIA. It’s an exciting time for me, Haas Automation and anyone who wanted to see an American team return to Formula 1,” Haas said in his announcement.
“Now, the really hard work begins. It’s a challenge we embrace as we work to put cars on the grid. I want to thank the FIA for this opportunity and the diligence everyone put forth to see our license application come to fruition.”
The FIA’s own communications department was rather slow on the act in confirming the news, issuing a press release late on Friday night and some hours after Haas’ own announcement – thereby robbing the sport of some potential column inches because the release came well after many European Saturday newspapers went to print.
What was interesting about the statement was that it confirmed Haas’ entry but was also considering a thirteenth entry. It was “in the process of conducting further investigations for Forza Rossa”, its statement reads.
The release gave no information about this Forza Rossa entity, although given that Haas’ main competition was a submission from an effort being bankrolled by the Romanian government and supposedly fronted by former F1 team principal Colin Kolles.
The FIA gave no explanation why the Forza Rossa entry bid was still being considered while Haas’ was accepted.
Image via TZ