Johansson: Haas has done its homework ahead of F1 entry

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Former Formula 1 driver Stefan Johansson has praised Haas F1 Team for ‘doing its homework’ ahead of its entry to the sport in 2016.

Haas is set to become the first American team to race in F1 in 30 years when it lines up on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix in April.

However, a great deal of scepticism does surround the arrival of a new team in F1 following the difficulties faced by the most recent trio of entries in 2010.

HRT raced until 2012 before collapsing, whilst Caterham lasted until the end of the 2014 season. Manor (formerly Marussia) is the only remaining ‘new’ team on the grid.

Haas is looking to buck the trend thanks to a technical partnership with Ferrari, and Johansson believes that this is a very smart move.

In an interview on his website, the Swedish racing veteran wrote about the idea of customer cars in F1, and why he thinks they should be re-introduced. Customer cars are banned in the sport, but technical partnerships are permitted.

“Well, I don’t understand the attitude of some the smaller teams,” Johansson said. “They say customer cars will ruin Formula 1 and that they have 300 people employed and what will happen to them?

“At the same time they’re scrambling for every penny because the cars are so expensive to make now and they can’t afford to pay their people or their suppliers in many cases.

“If I was Manor and I was offered a Ferrari I’d jump at it! Who wouldn’t? Their budget would be less than it is now. The car would already be developed and sorted and you could run the team with probably 60 people. It just makes business sense.”

Johansson praised Haas for engaging in a technical partnership with Ferrari, pushing the boundaries of working with a bigger team ahead of its entry to the sport next year.

“They’re pushing it as close to that as the rules will allow currently,” Johansson said.

“They’ve done their homework, they’ve listened to the right people and it’s the way to do it.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”