Report: Gene Haas to delay Formula One entry until 2016

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

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 Motorsport.com. “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. NBCSports.com’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 Motorsport.com story.

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Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for the injured Oliver Askew, also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at Ground Zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.