- Haas Formula
Haas confirms debut will be in 2016
Gene Haas has confirmed that his new Formula One team is targeting the grid in 2016 rather than next year.
Haas Formula was granted a spot on the grid by the FIA for 2015, but has always kept a 2016 debut as a possibility. The team is being started from scratch with an aerodynamics department in Kannapolis, North Carolina, alongside the Stewart-Haas NASCAR headquarters, and a European base to work on the cars between races. Haas said the team would need until 2016 to get the whole operation up and running.
"The plan is absolutely to launch in 2016 and we are fully committed to that," he told Forbes. "I don't think there is any doubt about that whatsoever. I think we will be a better team because we will have more time to plan and we will be able to do a lot more engineering in Kannapolis.
"We have been working on a building there since November of last year as part of the expansion of the NASCAR team. In about a month we will have the NASCAR site open then about a month later we will have the Formula One site operational so we can go in there.
"From a personal standpoint, I really would have liked to go racing in 2015. It was hard to sit there and say no. Trust me, I really wanted to go. The first year is always going to be tough but I think that by waiting a year we will probably only have six months of it being really tough because we will be better prepared."
Haas said one of the delays was down to an aborted attempt to set up the team's European base in Italy and that it is now likely to opt for UK headquarters.
"We had a timetable and it seemed that all the events were being delayed, for whatever reason, by a month or so. The final delay was that we were planning on opening a shop in Milan and then it came back from accountants that you can't really have a presence in Milan because that will cause a tax presence so it just started getting convoluted. We decided that it would be better to be 100% sure we are going to make the race rather than scramble and not make the race.
"We are still looking at having a shop in Europe. England maybe would be the place to go because that's where most of the Formula One teams are. We can't do anything in Italy because of the tax presence there but you obviously have Formula One itself in the south of England so that would be a potential site."