Haas Confirms FIA's Grant of F1 License
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on April 11, 2014 | 12:14 P.M. EST
"It’s an exciting time for me, Haas Automation and anyone who wanted to see an American team return to Formula One." (Photo: Getty Images)
DARLINGTON, S.C. - NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner Gene Haas confirmed Friday that he has been granted a Formula One license by the FIA to operate a team in 2015.
“Obviously, we’re extremely pleased to have been granted a Formula One license by the FIA,’’ Haas said in a statement. “It’s an exciting time for me, Haas Automation and anyone who wanted to see an American team return to Formula One.
“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.”
Haas co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing with Tony Stewart but Stewart is not a part of the Formula One venture. Haas also owns Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world.
Stewart was pleased for Haas.
“I'm excited for him,” Stewart said after Sprint Cup qualifying Friday at Darlington Raceway. “It's a pretty cool deal. Not anybody can go get one of those (licenses). I'm happy for him.”
But how will Haas' Formula One program impact the NASCAR effort?
“It's two totally separate programs,” Stewart said. “I won't have any involvement in the F1 side. It doesn't affect the Cup side.”
In December, the FIA put out a notice for a 12th F1 team. Haas was among those who filed an application.
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone said last week that Haas’ application would be accepted but Haas had not been officially notified at the time.
The Wall Street Journal stated that budgets for Formula One teams hit an estimated $211 million in 2013. A 12th spot was open after HRT closed its doors.
When HRT joined Formula One in 2010, an America-based team, US F1, also was granted entry, but never made it to a race because of financial issues.
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