The new F1 team from the United States, Haas F1 Team, has confirmed that it will receive widespread technical support from Ferrari when it makes its entry in 2016.
Using a model first pioneered by Force India with Mercedes and McLaren and since copied by a number of smaller and middle sized teams, Haas will use the Ferrari power unit and gearbox as well as other technical support. This provides a stable and proven back end to the car, so resources can be channelled elsewhere. That said, the model hasn’t always been successful as Caterham’s experience with the Renault engine and Red Bull gearbox in recent years shows.
More detail of the technical partnership is not given but this could include things like strategy tools, which are expensive to develop from scratch and which can easily be bought from a third party supplier quite effectively.
Haas is unlikely to need wind-tunnel support from Ferrari as it owns the Windshear tunnel, a 180 mph rolling-road wind tunnel in Concord, North Carolina. However F1 rules stipulate a maximum of 60% scale models for F1 tunnel testing.
Haas is the largest manufacturer of CNC machine tools in the USA and wants to use F1 to promote that business.
Haas’ F1 team will be based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, where his NASCAR team is based. This will design, develop and build the cars. The team will have a European base for rebuilds and fast turnarounds. It’s not clear yet whether this will be close to Ferrari’s Maranello base, which would make sense on one level, or in the UK where the majority of teams are based. Air freight to long haul races goes from London and Milan.
The two are a natural fit on several levels; the USA is Ferrari’s most important market with over 2,000 road cars a year sold there. New Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci also has extensive American experience having run Ferrari North America for a number of years. The sense is that the dialogue between Haas and Mattiacci has been positive and that this is a long term arrangement which gives Haas a leg up in F1 and gives Ferrari another profit centre and an important additional foothold in the US. Haas was announced early this summer as a sponsor of Ferrari in the short term.
Former Jaguar F1 team boss Guenter Steiner (above) will head the operation.
“There is no team in Formula One more accomplished than Scuderia Ferrari, and no team with more history. They’ve been a part of Formula One from the beginning, and now they’ll be a part of Haas F1 Team’s beginning,” said Gene Haas. “Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsports. It showcases the latest technology and is the most competitive form of racing in the world. Aligning Haas F1 Team with such a tenured and successful company in Scuderia Ferrari provides our team with the greatest opportunity for success in 2016 and beyond.”
“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 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 program 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. The 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.”