For the first time in 30 years, an American team will be racing in Formula 1 this year.
NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas’ vision has become reality after two years of planning, marking a major achievement in itself as his eponymous operation hits the grid in Australia this weekend.
Now, the challenge for Haas F1 Team is to be competitive from the very start and disprove the belief that start-up teams in F1 are doomed to fail.
TEAM: Haas F1 Team
CAR: Haas VF-16
8. Romain Grosjean (FRA)
21. Esteban Gutierrez (MEX)
From the outset of testing, it was clear that Haas is nothing like the start-up teams that recently entered F1 in 2010. Thanks to an extensive technical partnership with Ferrari, Haas has the backing to be on the pace from the word go. It already feels like an F1 team that has been operating for many years.
Drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez offer a good mix of experience and potential, with the latter also arriving at the team with experience after spending a year in reserve at Ferrari. Hopes are high for Haas’ first season in the sport.
Quite whether this means points early on remains to be seen. The challenge for Haas is adapting to life in F1 and coming together as a team – but it’s one that is already being managed, encouragingly.