Report: Gene Haas to delay Formula One entry until 2016


Gene Haas’ highly-anticipated entry to Formula One will be pushed back from 2015 to 2016, according to a report by

Earlier this week, Haas told the web site timing is becoming a significant issue to get an F1 team operating and on track by the start of the 2015 season.

“It just seems that it’s taking longer to accomplish what we wanted to do than we thought,” Haas told “It’s already June, so it’s (the start of the 2015 season) just seven months away and the timing issues are starting to get real crazy.”

Logistics are a significant part of the delay for the organization, which hasn’t even made a selection of a potential driver or drivers for what is expected to be a two-car team.

“We have a list of names, but the problem is a lot of times they’re already working for somebody and they can’t get out of their contracts for three to six months,” Haas told the web site. “So there’s a lot of those contractual issues that have to be resolved before someone can come over.”

In terms of motors and chassis for his F1 operation, Haas told the web site that he was “leaning towards” an affiliation with Ferrari because “they’re more open to what we need to do.”

Haas might still be interested in purchasing an existing team.’s Luke Smith reported Sunday that the Caterham F1 team is up for sale.

While Haas was determined to get his team up and running for 2015, having an additional year now gives him roughly 19 months to take a more pronounced and methodical approach that could help the team achieve success in time, rather than attempt to rush the effort for next season.

There has been no other independent confirmation of Haas’ reported delay other than the story.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

NHRA: John Force-like motor explosions get contagious during Sunday’s Gatornationals

Photo and video courtesy NHRA
Leave a comment

John Force is rubbing off on others – but probably not the way they or he would like.

The 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion has had spectacular motor explosions in each of the first three races of the new NHRA season, including during Friday’s qualifying for this weekend’s Gatornationals.

During Sunday’s quarterfinals of eliminations, Force’s teammate (and son-in-law and president of John Force Racing) Robert Hight squared off with fellow Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.

As the duo closed in on the finish line, both cars experienced spectacular motor explosions of their own – virtually side-by-side and nearly at the same time.

Hight’s car was the first to explode, tossing its body high in the air. A split-second later, Hagan’s car exploded, also sending the body flying.

Check out the NHRA video:

Hight wound up losing the race.

Hagan, meanwhile, and his crack pit crew rolled their backup car off the hauler, put in a new motor and went on to race through the semifinals and into the finals, losing to race winner “Fast Jack” Beckman.

“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest,” Hagan said. “I’ve never been to the finals in Gainesville.

“We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round, then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, then turn a win light on against Capps (Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the semifinals), then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.”

As for Hight, here’s his take on what happened with the motor explosion:

“I couldn’t see (Hagan) over there and it wasn’t like it was hazing the tires or anything else. As it turns out it wasn’t spinning at all. It kicked two rods out when it blacked the bearings in the crank then it hit the valves and blew up.

“The thing gave me no indication at all before that. What really scared me was once I got it under control and I look over and see his body is off his car. I am thinking ‘Oh man, he got gathered up in me.’ Then I stood up and looked and his injector was sideways so I realized he had an explosion as well. We are just lucky we didn’t get into each other.”

As for the guy who has had so much trouble in the motor department, John Force, he lost in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations to daughter Courtney Force.

John Force planned on shutting the motor off on his car at around the 700-foot mark of the 1,000-foot dragstrip, not wanting to risk another motor explosion – even though it meant a likely loss to his daughter.

Now John Force and his entire four-car team, including Courtney Force, Robert Hight and daughter and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, will be off for extensive testing to try and determine what’s been causing the motor explosions.

“We have to evaluate it and go test,” Force said. “We’ll figure it out.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski