American fans of Formula One racing have been eagerly anticipating the return of an American team to what is largely regarded to be the pinnacle of motor racing. But it's been a long, long time. The last time we saw an American team on the grid was in the 1970s when teams like Penkse, Parnelli and Shadow competed. The USF1 project never got off the ground, but good news arrived when NASCAR team owner Gene Haas was granted a license from the FIA to start a new F1 entry.

That team was originally scheduled to get its start next season, but now reports are indicating that Haas is pushing back its entry until 2016. Part of the decision reportedly comes down to a delay in setting up its European base of operations. Haas is apparently committed to basing his team in the United States – specifically at his expanding NASCAR operation in Kannapolis, North Carolina – but needs a secondary European base to use in between the European races that still account for the lion's share of grands prix on the schedule. That facility was originally earmarked for Milan, Italy, but after tax considerations ruled that out, Haas is looking at alternatives that will likely see the team set up shop in the UK, where eight out of the eleven teams currently on the grid are based.

Assuming Haas is ready to join the grid by 2016, it's looking increasingly likely that the Romanian entry that was also seeking approval from the FIA will also get in on the action. That would be the operation being jointly established by Colin Kolles and Ion Bazac. Kolles formerly ran the Midland/Spyker/Force India team and was then put in charge of HRT, and has been focusing lately on getting the Lotus LMP1 project onto the WEC grid. Bazac, meanwhile, was once health minister in the Romanian government and now runs the country's Ferrari importer, Forza Rossa. Rumor has it that the team could use that name and Ferrari engines in an arrangement that might not be far off from Luigi Chinetti's North American Racing Team that campaigned Ferraris in sports car racing on both sides of the Atlantic as Maranello's de facto proxy team.


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  • 9 Comments
      Hek!
      • 6 Months Ago
      Yay, more backmarkers come to ruin F1!
      Durishin
      • 6 Months Ago
      I watched his interview this afternoon on NBC after qualy. It was clear that he did not understand the cost of setting up shop in either Italy or the U.K. SO he says that he's going to run it from North Carolina. Two words: Michael Andretti. I'm sure he'll suspend the project. Based in NC, he'll have a budget bigger than Red Bull's just to make the travel... Or he'll buy Caterham.
        Anthony Thomas
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Durishin
        Actually setting up shop in NC makes some sense, but the experience is lacking horribly. He could work with Dallara for chassis development since they have a base in Indianapolis/Speedway, IN. Money doesn't solve anything, look at how much Toyota spent? They spend less than Audi in Sports Cars and look to the favorite going into Le Mans this weekend.
      Anthony Thomas
      • 6 Months Ago
      How was one go from being Health Minster in Romania to owner of a team in the most expensive motor sport in the world? I smell a rat. For those of you who believe you can separate from politics from racing, please don't be stupid, life is not that simple, so what makes you think motor sport isn't impacted by this?
      Shawn Meagher
      • 6 Months Ago
      Seems to be very pragmatic timing for Haas. Trying to get a car developed and on the grid for 2015 would have been an extremely daunting task for any outfit as they were given their entry only a couple of months. This would've been a rather late start compared with when the other teams will begin their development of the following year's car.
      SCMatty
      • 6 Months Ago
      The driver Haas shouod be looking at is Marco Andretti. He brings experience, sponsors and a racing heritage to F! from this side of the pond!
      surplusguy
      • 6 Months Ago
      Umm, last time I saw an American team in F1 was Haas Lola in 1985-86.
        KingTito
        • 6 Months Ago
        @surplusguy
        Wasn't that Carl Haas? No relation.
          Anthony Thomas
          • 6 Months Ago
          @KingTito
          Yes it was Carl Haas, was then Lola importer for the US. IE he made a ton of money selling Lola sports cars, Can-Am cars and of course Indy Car chassis. He worked with Lola to develop his ill-fated F1 car.