Gene Haas reveals more F1 details to NBCSN; offers Kurt Busch an incentive for winning the Chase

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In an exclusive interview with NBCSN, Gene Haas has revealed more details about the progress he is making with Haas F1 Team ahead of its entry into Formula 1 in 2016.

Back in April, the FIA confirmed that it had granted a berth to Haas for next season, only for the NASCAR team co-owner to postpone entry for an extra year to give the team more time to prepare for its debut.

This week, it was confirmed that the team had struck a deal with Ferrari for an engine supply, but Haas explained to NBCSN’s Will Buxton that the partnership will go beyond that.

“We’re going to try to get as many parts as allowed by the FIA,” he said. “It’s going to be suspension, it’s going to be I think wheels and chassis parts and transmission, engine. Everything down to even the steering modes.

“One of the prior concorde agreements was that the big teams could help the smaller teams, so we hope to get a lot of help from Ferrari to tell us what direction to go in.

“Then we’re gonna have a lot of other people to help us build those parts. Dallara will probably [be] one of the sub-contractors. Our goal at least initially is to try to rent, buy whatever we can to go racing because that’s what we’re here for.”

Haas also confirmed that he would be looking to set up a European base in England that would work with the team’s home in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

“Now the next step is that we have to get our base together,” Haas explained. “Obviously Ferrari is based in Italy, we have our facilities in Kannapolis.

“We’re probably going to need to have some kind of facility in the UK, in the southern part where all the other Formula 1 racers are. So, just the logistics of putting all of that together is the next challenge.”

One of the biggest mysteries about Haas F1 Team is who will be driving the car in 2016. American racer Alexander Rossi confirmed to MotorSportsTalk back in June that he had held some talks with the team, but Haas remained coy.

However, he did reveal that he has told NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, who races for Stewart-Haas Racing in the Sprint Cup Series, that he can test the car if he wins the championship this year.

“Everybody I talk to is interested,” Haas said. “I was talking to Kurt Busch last week. He was interested. He said if he wins the NASCAR championship, if could he have a ride in one. I said “for sure!” if he wins the championship.”

Busch has expressed his excitement for Haas’ project in the past, and although his chances of winning the championship do look slim, he could enjoy a brief test in the car at some point.

“I said he can get in the car!” Haas said, laughing. “I tell you, an American driver in a Formula 1 car in Europe, that would just knock it out of the ball park.

“I’ll give it to you: Kurt Busch could drive one of these cars.”

For Haas, there are definite similarities between NASCAR and the F1 community, but he is excited to be taking on a new challenge.

“You know racers are racers,” he said. “I don’t think they’re really that much different to what we have in NASCAR, except everyone speaks different languages here.

“I could go racing next year. Unfortunately from what I’ve heard from other teams, that’s a real thrashing to get done that fast.

“This extra year, we’re gonna spend it just basically putting the nuts and bolts together and getting things organized.”

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.