Fernando Alonso's Ferrari F14 T at Silverstone

Gene Haas is undertaking quite the initiative by starting his own Formula One team instead of simply buying an existing one. And he's making it even harder on himself by laudably insisting on quartering the operation at his home base in North Carolina. But to get onto the grid by 2016, he's going to need some help.

Fortunately that appears to be just what he's getting thanks to a new partnership with no less accomplished an outfit than Ferrari – which, despite not having won a championship since 2008, remains far and away the most successful team in the history of grand prix racing, with sixteen constructors' championships, fifteen drivers' titles and 221 grand prix victories to its name.

Haas Automation, the CNC machine manufacturer over which Gene Haas presides and which funds his various racing activities, has just signed a sponsorship deal with Scuderia Ferrari that has already seen the Haas logo appear on the F14 T that Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen drove in the British Grand Prix this past weekend. More than a sponsor, Haas Automation has become an official supplier to the Maranello squad, but is expected to lead to even closer cooperation that will help get the American F1 team up and running in time for the 2016 world championship.

So far, all the parties are saying is that "as a separate project, Haas is committed to entering Formula One with its own team, a testimony to the growing appeal of our sport in the USA and on this front, technical discussions are ongoing between us." Expect that to amount at least to an engine-supply deal like Ferrari has with Sauber and Marussia and which it previously had with Toro Rosso and Force India. But while the regulations prevent Ferrari from selling Haas a complete chassis, we wouldn't be surprised to see some scarlet-clad engineers helping the Haas team along at the beginning. It's not like they'll realistically be competing for the same slots on the grid, after all.
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New sponsorship for Scuderia Ferrari

Maranello, 3 July – It has been announced today that Haas Automation, the world's largest producer of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines in the United States, is to sponsor Scuderia Ferrari until the end of the 2015 season. The agreement comes into force immediately and, as from tomorrow's free practice for the British Grand Prix, the F14 Ts driven by Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will carry the company's logo on the side pods. The partnership marks Haas Automation's entry to the world of Formula 1, prior to it becoming title sponsor of Gene Haas' team when it enters the sport in 2016.

"We are pleased to welcome Haas Automation as our newest Official Supplier," said Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Marco Mattiacci. "This agreement strengthens our existing connections with the USA, an important market not only for our company, but also for Scuderia Ferrari, as it is one where the team already benefits from several important partnerships.

"Over the past few months, we have been exploring with Haas a number of potential areas of collaboration, and this agreement is an immediate opportunity that we are pursuing, which proves Haas' interest in Formula One. This collaboration will enable Haas Automation to reinforce its brand awareness and promote its products and services around the world, thanks to the appeal of Scuderia Ferrari and the global reach of Formula One. We are therefore delighted to make this announcement, which sees another premium brand join our portfolio of partners. In parallel, but as a separate project, Haas is committed to entering Formula One with its own team, a testimony to the growing appeal of our sport in the USA and on this front, technical discussions are ongoing between us."