Haas may delay F1 team debut until 2016

Monday 14th April 2014, 18:11 by Ryan Wood 

Haas Automation

Haas Formula - as the new American Formula 1 team will officially be known - may choose to delay its on-track launch until the 2016 season according to team owner Gene Haas.

The American NASCAR team co-owner was speaking during a press conference on Monday to reveal some of the finer details about his plans to join the F1 grid after the FIA granted the team a licence.

The team will be based in North Carolina, in a new facility next to the current NASCAR factory.

"What we're going to do is take a portion of the building, that will be the F1 headquarters right here in Kannapolis.

"That's the first thing we're working on, matter of fact they're just putting the roof on the building now. So we figure that’s another few months away."

» Analysis: Does it make sense to base a team in America?

Whilst the licence allows Haas Formula to join the 2015 grid, Haas says a decision as to whether they'll pursue 2015 or 2016 will be made within the "next four weeks" and will be dependent on finding a power unit supplier which he says is the next step.

"The next thing to do is sit down and have some very serious negotiations with our partners. There's currently three engine suppliers for F1 – Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari – so we have to narrow down the partner we’re going to work with.

"And that's a very important part of it, figuring out who can provide us with the technical expertise that we're going to need."

The 61-year-old also suggested the team will take a similar route to many of the smaller outfits such as Williams and Force India, which have formed technical partnerships with larger teams, allowing them to use their entire powertrain and gearbox assembly.

"We're going to do something very similar that we did in NASCAR, which is partner say like with a Hendrick Motorsports where we can rely on them for a lot of technical expertise. Because let's face it, we're new at this, there's going to be a long learning curve.

"To sit there and say that we can understand what's going on with these cars in a year or two is not reasonable. It's going to take us a while to learn and we’re going to lean heavily on a technical partner to help us."

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