American racing mogul and machine-tool legend Gene Haas is headed to Formula 1 next year, having been cleared by the FIA earlier this week. “Obviously, we’re extremely pleased to have been granted a Formula 1 licence by the FIA,” said Haas. “It’s an exciting time for me, for Haas Automation, and anyone who wanted to see an American team return to F1.”
The real work lies ahead, however, as the Stewart-Haas racing team (as it’s known in NASCAR circles) has a long way to go before they can produce a race-winning Formula 1 race car. First and foremost, they need to secure an engine- and, with the current demand on Mercedes-Benz power units, Haas may be “stuck” with a less-powerful Renault power unit or an unproved unit from Honda, who are set to make an F1 return with McLaren in 2015 (at least).
With more than 1.9 million Hondas being built in North America (and many of those, in Ohio), a Haas-Honda racing team might be the most all-American F1 entry since Michael Andretti drove a Ford-engined McLaren alongside Ayrton Senna back in 1993. Even more exciting is the possibility that Haas will bring one of talented NASCAR drivers along to Formula 1, as well- at least as a test driver- with Kurt Busch being the leading contender. At 35, Busch is a bit old for an F1 ride- but the 2004 NASCAR champion and current IndyCar/NASCAR regular is definitely fast.
We’ll see what happens when it happens, I guess. Until then- get excited, people! The 2015 season of Formula 1 racing is going to be amAZing!!