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Haas wants to bring American dream to F1

2016-02-24 07:07

AMERICAN DREAM: Haas F1 team boss Gene Haas is bringing back a US team in F1 for the first time in 30 years in the 2016 season. Image: AFP

Barcelona, Spain - Gene Haas, the man to bring back an American team to Formula 1 for the first time in 30 years, wants Haas F1 to be a launching pad for the sport in the United States.

Haas, a machine tool magnate, already has motorsport experience as part-owner of Nascar team Stewart-Haas racing.

New hope

However, despite international appeal, F1 has struggled to oust Nascar's domination of motorsport in the US, something Haas is hoping to change.

Haas said at the second day of pre-season testing in Barcelona ahead of Haas F1's maiden campaign:"I know there are a lot of fans in the USA.

"We're hopeful Americans will stand behind us. We'd like to get more Americans involved in F1 because it is a great motor racing sport and we'd be humbled to have more Americans support us in this endeavour to bring F1 back to the United States."

Haas, 63, admitted he needs to create at least a competitive product before bringing other sponsors on board, but admitted expectations for their debut season would be limited to "fighting at the back of the gird" and trying to finish as many races as possible.

Right sponsor

Yet, he believes further American investment in the future could see a revolution of the sport's image and popularity in the States in what has traditionally been a European dominated field.

"Having the car branded under our name is good for our product line, but if the right sponsor comes along we're definitely going to listen. I think we could do a good job of marketing especially an American product all over the world because there is a huge audience for F1 in the rest of the world.

"American people love sports, they like that competitive edge. They want to have some association with it, so if there is an American team out there and doing something no one else has done before, Americans will be very interested.

'Best possible people'

"I think the problem with F1 in the past is that they never really had any association with a bunch of Europeans. As an American in an European sport people are going to want to see two things: how badly you do, or, if you can beat these guys."

Yet, Haas has resisted the temptation to bring an American driver on board with the experienced duo of Frenchman Romain Grosjean and Mexico's Esteban Gutierrez to take the wheel this season.

"An American driver would be the ultimate aim, but at the moment we want to put the best pieces we can obtain and right now having an experienced driver like Grosjean was the best nut to put on the steering wheel. We want the best possible people."


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