It may not be announcing a new power unit supply deal but the fact that Haas Automation will be sponsoring Ferrari cars this weekend at the British Grand Prix can only be taken as a sign that discussions of a supplier contract must be moving along nicely.
It has been announced today that Haas Automation, the world’s largest producer of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines in the United States, is to sponsor Scuderia Ferrari until the end of the 2015 season. The agreement comes into force immediately and, as from tomorrow’s free practice for the British Grand Prix, the F14 Ts driven by Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will carry the company’s logo on the side pods. The partnership marks Haas Automation’s entry to the world of Formula 1, prior to it becoming title sponsor of Gene Haas’ team when it enters the sport in 2016.
“We are pleased to welcome Haas Automation as our newest Official Supplier,” said Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Marco Mattiacci. “This agreement strengthens our existing connections with the USA, an important market not only for our company, but also for Scuderia Ferrari, as it is one where the team already benefits from several important partnerships.
“Over the past few months, we have been exploring with Haas a number of potential areas of collaboration, and this agreement is an immediate opportunity that we are pursuing, which proves Haas’ interest in Formula One. This collaboration will enable Haas Automation to reinforce its brand awareness and promote its products and services around the world, thanks to the appeal of Scuderia Ferrari and the global reach of Formula One. We are therefore delighted to make this announcement, which sees another premium brand join our portfolio of partners. In parallel, but as a separate project, Haas is committed to entering Formula One with its own team, a testimony to the growing appeal of our sport in the USA and on this front, technical discussions are ongoing between us.”
Haas will enter Formula 1 as an American team in 2016 and owner, Gene Haas, has said he’s looking for a technical partner to provide more than just engines. Ferrari may be the most complete package from power unit through transmission and electronics and it makes sense to be tied to the sports most venerable player. Maybe it’s a case of, “we pay for engines, you put our sticker on your car” type of deal?