Haas F1 plans to partner up with Ferrari
NASCAR big-shot Gene Haas was granted entry into Formula Ones with a new team for the 2016 season, tentatively titled Haas Formula. Haas wisely chose to enter sport only after the first two seasons of massive change in the sport had subsided. This year, F1s moved to use V6 turbo-engines and, next year, Honda will make its comeback to the sport, upping the amount of F1 engine manufacturers back to four (after it dropped to three with the exit of Cosworth).
Rumour has it that Haas Formula may be partnering up with Ferrari in close collaboration. The Italian Constructor, which has had a tough season, isn’t planning on buying into Haas’s team, but is apparently planning to work in close proximity to it in order to make Haas Formula a sort of “sister” or “sibling” constructor to it, similar to Red Bull and Toro Rosso (both teams are owned by Red Bull, but run as their own separate constructors with different engine suppliers). My two cents on the matter, and I do stress that I’m speaking as a person who has never owned or operated an F1 team, is that the Ferrari deal doesn’t seem like a good idea, at least not if we are using the Red Bull/Toro Rosso model.
Toro Rosso was once a team called Minardi and used Ferrari engines even back then. Throughout its 20-year history, Minardi never showed any vast improvement and was a constant bottom-feeder to the sport. Haas is taking a lot of smart steps, probably to ensure that his F1 venture will not be a flop similar to the Lotus (Caterham), Virgin (Marussia) and Hispania Teams which debuted in 2010 – but we really don’t know where the Haas car will land on the spectrum until the first Grand Prix of 2016. And please note that I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with F1 teams helping each other out. Marussia and McLaren for instance share the same wind-tunnels and, without commenting on the poor results of either team, it’s still a healthier relationship than an owner/sponsor relationship between Red Bull and Toro Rosso or the older one between Ferrari and Minardi.
I’m basically saying that the other guy always gets over-shadowed in these sorts of business relations, so I hope Haas keeps a reasonable amount of independence from Ferrari. But then again, what do I know…