Haas F1 Team—yes, that’s the new name of the American Formula One team led by Gene Haas—will be supplied by none other than Ferrari for their 2016 entry into the world’s most advanced form of motorsport.
Ferrari’s Marco Mattiacci announced the deal:
“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 1”, said Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Marco Mattiacci. “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 programme 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. 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 1 grid.”
Now, all of this makes sense if you think about it as Haas needs more than just a lump. He needs a heap of chassis help, transmission, electronics and a nice laptop to run it all. You weren’t thinking they would show up with a 350 tied to a 3/11 posi-trac rear end did you?
The only other group poised to supply the team with that level of technical elements would have been Mercedes and haven’t we all just had enough of that already? No, Ferrari seems to still like America and believes it to be a big market for their product—odd that Formula 1 itself doesn’t quite get that plot but then again, aren’t we just fickle, fat and mindless dorks suffering from decadence and excess over here anyway?
So off the races Gene will go but this time he’s coming with arguably the grid’s second, if not third, best engine—depending how the Honda does in 2016. Nevertheless, he needs the technical details and elements to complete his chassis and let’s hope he isn’t using the GM Delta platform chassis lest this sucker will be the fastest Cobalt on the planet and that’s possibly not a good thing—especially when trying to use the ignition switch.
You have to ask yourself this question—does anyone feel that Haas will come out swinging in 2016 with a better chassis than Sauber’s version this year? If not, look for Gene and the boys to be banging wheels with Marussia and Caterham…if either of those two teams show up next year.
Alas, it’s a development year and even their supplier says they won’t see the sharp end of the grid for another three years so I reckon seven for Gene plus an additional three due to Ferrari’s established goals should put Gene on the top step in 2026.