Haas: Starting F1 team my biggest challenge yet


Gene Haas has said that starting a Formula 1 team is his biggest challenge to date, and that the first five years will be about survival for his outfit that is set to join the grid for the 2016 F1 season.

Earlier this year, the FIA confirmed that it had awarded a berth on the grid to Haas F1 Team, and was able to accept it for either the 2015 or 2016 seasons. Haas opted to defer until 2016 to give himself more time to get everything in place.

Speaking to CNN, Haas admitted that this was the biggest challenge that he has faced in motorsport, but cannot see it failing despite many having concerns about the viability of the project.

“Certainly the biggest challenge, yes, but I guess I don’t have any doubts that we can do it,” Haas explained. “People keep saying ‘are you going to fail?’ – I don’t even really think about it.

“I think to me it’s just a challenge, it’s something that you need to do and it can be done. I know it’s hard, but like I say, don’t give up, just keep banging your head against the wall until you open the door.”

Following the demise of both Caterham and Marussia F1 Team in the past 24 hours, there will be a great deal of scrutiny on Haas F1 Team to see whether it can sustain itself as a long-term project in F1.

“I think for the first five years it’s just [about] surviving,” Haas said. “I don’t have any expectations of grandeur that we are going to go out there and win championships. If we even win a race in 5 years, I think that would be a tremendous success.

“Just the association of being with Formula 1 basically takes our brand from nobody to the stratosphere, and if we struggle at it, maybe we will get more notoriety about it.

“But sooner or later we will march up. I’m not expecting to beat anybody, just maybe the guys at the back.”

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”