n 1986 it was Carl Haas; in 2016 it will
be Gene Haas. Given that 30 years will
separate the first full seasons of their
American-owned and funded Formula 1
teams, what are the odds that the
unrelated owners share the 941st most
popular last name in the USA?
The name isn’t all they have in common.
Both men have been hugely successful as
businessmen and racers, and both entered
F1 with significant funding and high hopes,
not just to make up the numbers. It remains
to be seen if Gene’s Haas F1 Team has
better fortune than Carl’s Team Haas did.
Of course, starting a Grand Prix team is
far from easy, and nothing illustrates that
better than the disaster that was US F1,
which never came close to running a car
on track. The subsequent demise of fellow
2010 alumni HRT and Lotus/Caterham,
and the struggles faced by Marussia/
Manor, demonstrate just how tough it is.
But Haas is different. It’s not a typical
“build it and sponsors will come” operation,
says team principal Guenther Steiner.
An Italian with a Germanic name, Steiner
spent many years in the World Rally
Championship before being drafted into
the Jaguar F1 operation by Niki Lauda in
2001. He was involved with the birth of
Building a new Formula 1 team, especially one
with the geographical complexities of U.S.-led
Haas F1, is a lot more than “plug in and play.”
Words Adam Cooper MAIN IMAge iStock Photo