An American team seeks to enter Formula One, take two. It's been four years since USF1 played the jilt to Bernie's circus, no-showing at the beginning of the 2010 season. Now NASCAR team owner Gene Haas, of Stewart-Haas Racing, has "responded to the FIA's 'call for expression of interest'" in forming an F1 team to race in the 2015 or 2016 season according to a report in German magazine Auto Motor und Sport. The governing body of motorsports, the FIA, opened a tender process for new teams, with interested applicants having until January 3 to respond and until February 10 to submit completed applications. Selected teams will be announced on February 28. Haas' entry comes under the banner of his Haas Racing Development.
Haas has said he'll provide more details at a later date, but the rumors don't like to wait for official words. The German report said that the team could launch with a chassis built by Dallara from in-house designs, powered by Ferrari engines. Guenther Steiner, former technical director of Red Bull's F1 and NASCAR teams who runs a composites shop in North Carolina is speculated to provide the leadership.
There's a long way to go and other teams interested, but several outlets including the BBC have said "it is likely" the Haas entry will result in a team. In addition to his NASCAR team that fields four drivers, Haas owns CNC machine company Haas Automation and the full-scale, 180-mile-per-hour Windshear wind tunnel in North Carolina. It is also thought that his interest has to do with cost-cutting moves that are supposedly - and finally - coming to F1, but that would be quite the risk if it were; everyone has complained that the new V6 engines, which were supposed to save money, are more expensive than the V8s, the same teams that entered at the back of the pack during the first round of resource-restriction talks are still backmarkers, and even marquee teams like Lotus are in deep debt. We might know more about the old college try when Haas attends the NASCAR Media Tour press conference on January 27.