The FIA have accepted an application by NASCAR team owner Gene Haas for the 2015 Formula One World Championship. The acceptance was announced after a meeting by the World Motor Sport Council in Morocco. The F1 governing body also announced that they were considering an application made by former HRT team boss Colin Kolles for a new team called Forza Rossa.
The FIA released the following statement regarding the news: “In close consultation with the CRH (commercial rights holder), the FIA has accepted the candidature of Haas Formula LLC…”
Gene Haas’ intentions to enter next year’s Formula One world championship were reported earlier this year. The co-owner of NASCAR race and championship winning team, Stewart-Haas racing, have now had their application accepted and will now be on the grid in next year’s opening round.
“Obviously, we’re extremely pleased to have been granted a Formula One license by the FIA,” Haas said in a statement. “It’s an exciting time for me, Haas Automation and anyone who wanted to see an American team return to Formula One. Now, the really hard work begins. It’s a challenge we embrace as we work to put cars on the grid. I want to thank the FIA for this opportunity and the diligence everyone put forth to see our license application come to fruition.”
An American team attempted to enter the championship back in 2010, when Team Lotus, HRT and Virgin entered. The team, called USF1, were accepted into the championship but failed to make the grid after financial difficulties.
The bid from Gene Haas is likely to have a higher chance of success, with Haas already being a respected name in NASCAR. Haas merged with NASCAR driver and champion Tony Stewart to form ‘Stewart-Haas Racing’ in 2008, with Stewart winning the 2011 Sprint Cup series with the team. The team currently have 22 wins and 12 pole positions currently with drivers Stewart, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick.
The statement from the FIA also added that they “…are in the process of conducting further investigations for Forza Rossa”. It described the applications which were submitted were “of a high standard” and said the decision had been taken in “close consultation” with Bernie Ecclestone.
Forza Rossa is a combined effort from former F1 team boss Colin Kolles to launch a new team. Forza Rossa is the name of the official Ferrari dealer in the Romanian capital Bucharest. The team will be supported and funded by a consortium of state-owned enterprises.
By Jordan Groves Formula 1 correspondent for RTR RTR Sports Marketing - Sport Sponsorship Agency