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Haas plans to field Formula 1 team in next 2 years

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm •  Published: April 14, 2014
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Haas said his goal is hire a young American driver with a great potential — although he hasn't begun to narrow down that search.

He co-owns a NASCAR team with Stewart and Danica Patrick, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch all drive for them.

However, Haas essentially ruled out his current collection of NASCAR drivers as potential candidates, saying it would be "impossible to accomplish that and survive" given the grueling schedule Sprint Cup drivers face and the challenges it takes to learn how to drive a Formula One car.

Haas plans for his Formula One headquarters to be based on Kannapolis, N.C., in a building adjacent to where his NASCAR team calls home.

The 61-year-old Haas made it clear his venture into Formula One is to broaden Haas Automation's exposure in the European market — and he believes the worldwide racing series will give him that opportunity.

"We want to become a household name" in Europe, Haas said.

Haas was granted a license from Formula One's governing body to start a U.S.-based entry in the series on Thursday.

Haas said he must inform the FIA of the team's plans to begin racing — in 2015 or 2016 — by June. He expects he'll know much sooner, probably within the next four weeks.

"I think 2015 is too close and 2016 is too far — that's kind of where I see it," Haas said. "If we wait until 2016 were are going to start delaying and spending even more money because we will be a neutral. ... What we need to do is come up with a plan where we can basically arrive with a car that is based on our partner's technology within the rules of the FIA. We are going to have to beg, borrow and steal to arrive at that first race so we can compete."