F1 candidate Gene Haas on FIA: “They’re pretty intense”

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As reported on Friday, the FIA has delayed its decision on granting licenses for a new Formula One expansion team – meaning that Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas (pictured, left, with fellow co-owner Tony Stewart) will have to wait longer before he knows if his application to own an F1 squad has been accepted.

Haas, who saw his driver Kevin Harvick win today at Phoenix International Raceway, is one of two candidates for a license along with a Romania-based group led by longtime F1 team management figure Colin Kolles.

Following today’s race, Haas was asked to give an update on the subject and promptly went into detail about his recent meeting with the FIA in Switzerland.

Haas said the meeting involved “six or seven various people” involved with the FIA and that the group had a “formal way of processing applications in the sense that there is no application.”

“It was about a hour-and-a-half [long] meeting where they asked us a lot of questions about how we intend to do this, how do we intend to pay for it, what are the logistics of how you’re going to do this,” he said. “We answered those questions as best we could. I was there. [SHR executive vice-president] Joe Custer was there. [Former F1 technical director] Gunther Steiner was there.

“They’re pretty intense. They had a lot of good questions. I think what they do is they take that information, evaluate it, make their recommendations to I think it’s the Formula One’s owners association or next group of people, and the process goes on.”

Haas noted the delay by the FIA, which did not give an alternate date for when their final decision would be issued.

“From what I’ve learned talking to other people, this is fairly normal,” he said about the delay. “There’s lots of dates they have. They don’t really make a decision until they’re sure what they want the decision to be.”

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.

And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.

Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home ofΒ Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.

The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.

“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.

“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”

A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.