Ecclestone backs Haas F1 entry
Bernie Ecclestone has backed the proposed entry of a team run by NASCAR tycoon Gene Haas into Formula One next year to be successful, according to a report in the Independent.
It marks a slight change in tone for Ecclestone, who said in January that it was "most unlikely" such a venture would succeed. Haas met with the FIA in March but a decision has been delayed indefinitely. Ecclestone believes Haas' financial clout, with the bid likely to be backed by the $1 billion annual revenues of Haas Automotion, gives the porposed entry a strong possibility of going ahead.
"I think Haas will be accepted," Ecclestone told the Independent. "They have got the money but it's a question of whether they are going to spend it. A billion would last a new team owner four years. I've spoken to Haas but I don't know what they are going to do. It's America, so I don't know."
The newspaper also reports that the arrival of an American team into the sport could boost Ecclestone's chances of securing a grand prix in California. If Haas' application were to be successful, it would be the first American team in F1 since Penske Racing in 1978, while Scott Speed was the last American to compete in the sport in 2007.