Haas undeterred in his pursuit of F1 team
Gene Haas is pressing ahead with plans to form an F1 team, despite warnings from Bernie Ecclestone that it is 'most unlikely' such a venture would succeed.
F1 has not had an American team since 1978, after Penske Racing ended a four-year affiliation with the sport. Haas recently revealed he is in the process of applying for a licence to field a team for 2015.
Just last week Bernie Ecclestone strongly suggested Haas could not afford the cost of a competitive F1 team. Haas seems undeterred, though he admits he is not taking Ecclestone's warning lightly.
"It scares me!" Haas told ESPN.com. "When the head of Formula One says, 'You can't afford this,' he probably knows what he's talking about. I think he's just being as brutally honest with us as he can.
"It was a little disheartening. If he's telling me I'm not going to get a license, I appreciate that. It's better to know now than later. I don't want to spend a lot of time if I don't have a chance to get a license.
"Maybe he's just trying to warn me. Maybe Formula One is just not ready for another team. If there are teams at the back that are all already struggling, why does F1 need another team?"
"I won't know until I try. If you don't try, you'll never fail. We have a different way of doing things and I think we can be a lot more efficient at what we do. The Europeans have their way of doing things, and we as Americans have our way of doing things. I think we could be competitive and successful."
The memory of USF1's unsuccessful attempt to enter the sport in 2010 is a stigma for Haas to overcome, but he is confident it can be done despite the financial implications.
"We've looked at buying a team, but there are problems associated with that," Haas said. First of all, it's tremendously expensive, with a lot of existing personnel you're responsible for. Some of them have a lot of debt you would have to pay off. So they all have their issues.
"Starting our own team has its problems too, but the good thing is that it would be an American team. That really was the No. 1 fundamental priority - to have an American team competing in a European series."