Now that HRT Racing has officially folded, NASCAR’s Gene Haas founder of Stewart-Haas Racing, has expressed an interest in filling one of two F1 team openings, and is currently working with former Red Bull and Jaguar technical director Guenther Steiner to see if this is feasible for the 2015 or 2016 season.
The FIA world governing body announced was looking for new teams to compete from as early as next season following the demise of HRT Racing and subsequent financial strife faced by Lotus.
However, based on the number of “false starts” involving American participation in F1 projects (including the fact that the hasn’t been an American behind the wheel of an F1 racer since Toro Rosso signed Scott Speed in 2007) Bernie Ecclestone, president and CEO of Formula One Administration and Management doubts Haas will come to fruition.
“They have been talking about it for three years. Two or three people there. I would say it is most unlikely,” he stated.
The last time there was a US F1 bid was back in 2010, which failed, although HRT, Lotus Racing and Virgin Racing were admitted to the grid. It is ironic, however, that the last American team to compete in the World Championship back in 1985 & 1986, was Team Haas, co-owned by Carl Hass (no relation to Gene) and Teddy Mayer.
In the meantime, it was reported that former HRT boss Colin Kolles and Stefan GP, a Serbian group (that also failed to get a Formula One entry back in 2010) have also filed to start new teams. A decision will be made by the F1A on February 28th.