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Haas held talks with Mercedes over technical partnership

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Günther Steiner has revealed that Haas F1 Team held talks with Mercedes over a possible technical partnership for the 2016 Formula 1 season before signing an agreement with Ferrari.

NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas will bring his new F1 operation onto the grid in 2016 after winning the FIA’s tender back in 2014. It will be the first American team to race in F1 since the unrelated Haas Lola project in the 1980s.

As part of its entry, Haas has opted to enter a technical partnership with Ferrari that will see it resemble something close to a customer team that existed in F1 in the mid-2000s.

Haas will benefit from a Ferrari power unit and other technologies, giving it a leg up for its debut season that many new teams have not enjoyed in the past.

However, team principal Steiner explained to the official F1 website that he does not think this will detract from Haas’ own identity.

“It is a bit like road car manufacturers: they all work together and many use the same platform, but everybody keeps their own identity,” Steiner said. “Times have changed: now nobody cares where you get your steering racks from or your brake pedals.

“But then I also agree that plain customer cars could be dangerous because you might end up with too many of the same cars, because everybody, of course, wants the best car. But if you do your aero development yourself it is a good compromise at the moment.”

Steiner revealed in the interview that Haas had spoken with Mercedes about a technical partnership, but felt that Ferrari offered the best package for 2016.

“Mercedes was an option,” Steiner said. “We spoke with them as well, but Ferrari came out as the better option – so we go with Ferrari.

“We know that nothing is forever, but right now we hope that it is forever.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
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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.”