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Haas To Team With Ferrari In 2016 F1 Launch

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, September 3 2014

NASCAR team owner Gene Haas has changed the name of his Formula One team and announced it will begin racing in 2016. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

California businessman Gene Haas will launch his foray into the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2016 with Scuderia Ferrari as technical partner.

The most successful team in the history of Formula One, Scuderia Ferrari will provide Haas F1 Team with its power unit, gearbox and overall technical support. The multiyear agreement announced Wednesday theoretically will allow Haas F1 Team, formerly listed as Haas Formula, to be competitive in its inaugural season.

The team’s entry date and name change were announced Tuesday in a news release emanating from the organization’s NASCAR headquarters in Kannapolis, N.C. Haas, founder of Haas Automation and chairman of the rebadged F1 organization, opted for the name change in order to link his team with the prestigious FIA Formula One World Championship.

Based in Maranello, Italy, Ferrari’s name, blood-red paint scheme and Prancing Horse emblem have been synonymous with F1 since its inception in 1950. The Scuderia is hallowed ground among the team’s rabid worldwide “tifosi” fan base as well as home to 16 Constructors’ titles, most recently in 2008, and 15 Drivers’ championships, most recently with Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.

“There is no team in Formula One more accomplished than Scuderia Ferrari, and no team with more history,” Haas, 61, said in a statement. “They’ve been a part of Formula One from the beginning, and now they’ll be a part of Haas F1 Team’s beginning. Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsports. It showcases the latest technology and is the most competitive form of racing in the world.

“Aligning Haas F1 Team with such a tenured and successful company in Scuderia Ferrari provides our team with the greatest opportunity for success in 2016 and beyond.”

Ferrari figures to benefit from the association with Haas via increased profile in the United States, the company’s most lucrative market for its road cars.

“We’re delighted to announce this important strategic partnership with Haas F1 Team and to welcome an American player as a new entrant in Formula One,” said Marco Mattiacci, Scuderia Ferrari team principal. “A few months ago we joined forces with Gene Haas on a commercial level and this is the natural next step of our growing relationship.

“While our objective is to reinforce our power unit development program for all our customer teams, we believe this new partnership has the potential to evolve beyond the traditional role of supplying our power unit and all related technical services.

“The United States continues to be one of the most important markets for Ferrari and it offers many interesting opportunities. We look forward to supporting Haas F1 Team in its efforts to become a competitive player on the Formula One grid.”

The Ferrari power unit consists of the engine, the motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K), the motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H), the energy store (ES), turbocharger (TC) and control electronics (CE). The gearbox, or transmission, has eight forward gears, which are operated by the driver via paddles affixed to the back of the steering wheel.

“These are exciting times for everyone at Haas F1 Team and we are honored to have a partner in Scuderia Ferrari supporting our efforts,” said Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 team principal. “When it comes to Formula One, no one matches Scuderia Ferrari’s knowledge, technical expertise and sheer determination.

“We understand there is some heavy lifting ahead of us, but know that with their technical support, we will develop a team of talented people at an exceptional pace so that we’re ready to race competitively in 2016. We are focused on the future and look forward to what’s ahead for Haas F1 Team.”

Haas Formula will remain the team’s legal entity. Haas F1 Team will be the public and commercial name of the first American-led Formula One team since 1986. Its Website, www.HaasF1Team.com, launched Tuesday, as did its Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/HaasF1Team.

“Haas F1 Team automatically conveys our place among the pinnacle of motorsports,” said Haas, who founded Haas Automation in 1983. “When you hear ‘F1’ you know exactly what it is _ a global racing series that showcases the latest technology and attracts the best talent in engineering and design.

“Haas Automation has an excellent reputation in the United States and I want that reputation to grow worldwide. Connecting Haas Automation with F1 in name and in practice when the Haas F1 Team debuts in 2016 is the best way to grow our business and elevate Haas Automation to a premium, global brand.”

The FIA granted Haas a Formula One license in mid-April with an option to enter the globe-trotting series in either 2015 or 2016. Haas already had broken ground on a 125,000 square-foot facility adjacent to his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team’s shop in Kannapolis that also will house Haas F1 Team. Construction is scheduled to be completed in November.

In April, Haas said he initially would like to hire an experienced Formula One driver, likely someone familiar with the turbocharged engine package and rules introduced by the FIA for the 2014 season. Haas also said he eventually would like to add a young American driver to his lineup.

There are no Americans competing among the series’ fulltime 22 drivers, although native Californian Alexander Rossi is serving as a test driver for Marussia F1 Team.

Haas said in April he did not foresee anyone on his current driver roster making the transition from NASCAR to F1. SHR’s Danica Patrick has an extensive open-wheel background, including a victory at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, in the Verizon IndyCar Series and Cup teammate Kurt Busch made a successful open-wheel debut in the Indianapolis 500 in May.

Haas’ F1 effort is the first by an American since Charlotte-based USF1’s aborted attempt to compete in the 2010 season. Granted a license by the FIA in June 2009, USF1 was fronted by former Haas CNC Racing technical director Ken Anderson and journalist Peter Windsor, a former F1 manager for Williams and Ferrari. However, the team folded without fielding a full-scale car or entering a race.

Haas’ motorsports holdings include Haas F1 Team, Stewart-Haas Racing and Windshear.

Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup team co-owned by Haas and three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart. SHR fields four entries _ Stewart’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS; the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Patrick; the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick and the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for Busch.

The NASCAR organization operates out of a 140,000 square-foot facility with approximately 270 employees. Stewart-Haas Racing won the 2011 Cup championship with Stewart.

Windshear is a 290 kph/180 mph rolling-road wind tunnel in Concord, N.C., that is the first of its kind in North America. Founded by Haas, it is only the third rolling-road wind tunnel of its scale in existence and the world’s first commercially available, full-scale, rolling-road wind tunnel.

Windshear is available for hire to all motorsports teams and auto manufacturers. NASCAR, INDYCAR, sports car and NHRA teams utilize Windshear, as does the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), which has conducted tests on production cars at Windshear.

Haas Automation, Inc., is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. Haas Automation manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers.

All Haas products are built in the company’s 1-million square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, Calif., and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets that provide sales, service, support and cost-to-performance value. For more information, visit the Web at www.HaasCNC.com, Facebook at www.Facebook.com/HaasAutomationInc and Twitter @Haas_Automation.

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, September 3 2014
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