New world: SHR co-owner Gene Haas hoping to field F1 team
JAN 16, 2014 3:20p ET
Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas is in the early stages of pursuing a Formula One operation for the 2015 season.
"We have responded to the FIA's 'call for expression of interest' regarding a Formula One entry on behalf of Haas Racing Development," Haas said in a statement issued on Thursday. "We respect the FIA's evaluation process and will share more details in the coming weeks."
Formula One announced in December that it would entertain new team owners. Haas is one of three applicants competing for the license. According to reports, Colin Kolles and Stefan GP are the other two candidates.
Haas, 61, has expressed interest in F1 for several years. After he founded Haas Automation in 1983 and grew the company to one of the top CNC manufacturers, Haas entered the NASCAR ranks in 2002. He became a full-time operation the following year and expanded to two cars by 2007. Following the 2008 season, Haas CNC Racing folded into Stewart-Haas Racing with Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart becoming a co-owner of the organization.
In 2011, Stewart won SHR's first Cup title, and the Kannapolis, N.C.-based organization is expanding in 2014 to field entries for four drivers -- Stewart, 2007 Daytona 500 winner Kevin Harvick, 2004 Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2013 Daytona 500 pole winner Danica Patrick.
In a completely separate entity from SHR, Haas is currently using the working title Haas Racing Development for his F1 interest. Gunther Steiner, who was involved with Red Bull Racing as technical director and Jaguar prior to that, is working with Haas on the application process.
For potential technical alliances, Dallara has been mentioned for the chassis while Ferrari and Mercedes are realistic engine options. Haas is currently the only NASCAR owner who boasts his own wind tunnel -- Wind Shear -- which opened in 2008.
After the FIA reviews the applicants, a second round of interviews is expected before a decision would be made in March to accept one or any of the candidates.