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.”