Formula 1

Gene Haas expects challenging debut F1 season

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The owner of Formula 1's newest team Haas is expecting their first season to be filled with "tons of mistakes" as they settle into life on the grid.

Gene Haas' entry with the Haas F1 Team has generated plenty of excitement thanks to a partnership with the most iconic name in motorsport, Ferrari.

The British-based American outfit will be using the power units of the fabled Italian team in addition to a Dallara-produced chassis.


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With less than a month until the first car is set to be launched and tested on-track in Barcelona, Haas' effort and attention to detail has fans feeling optimistic about the team's chances of succeeding.

Learning from 2010 failures

The Haas F1 Team certainly enters the fray in a much stronger position than the last three new entrants: HRT, Caterham and then-called Virgin Racing, who joined the grid back in 2010.

Only one of those teams remains in Virgin, following their rebranding from Marussia to current name Manor Racing. Conversely, HRT and Caterham eventually ran out of money.

But Haas is in a much stronger financial position as it begins its foray into Formula 1. The promising outfit has made its intentions clear by taking on two experienced drivers in the highly rated Romain Grosjean and former Sauber racer Esteban Gutierrez.

2016 – a year of building

Despite the hype and expectation Haas can perhaps jump straight into the midfield battle, Gene has tried to play down those hopes by admitting 2016 is all about learning what life in F1 is all about.

"It will be a building experience," he was quoted by ESPN.

"We are going to this party without really knowing what it's like. We can sit there and watch what other people do but there's nothing like being there. That's going to be the experience."

Even though the debut season will be about getting to grips with the competition, Haas remains confident his team has done the best it can to be ready and looks forward to what its first year has in store.

"I think we are prepared, I think we will do well at it but you have to really be there to learn it," he added.

"All the reading you can do and talking to other people, the challenge is being able to do it. I'm sure we will make tons of mistakes, correct those mistakes and be better prepared for each race.

"After we are done with those 21 races [this] year, we will have a whole year behind us and our notebook will be full of what we need to know. And we will do better after that."

Another boost for F1's American dream

Many also hope the Haas F1 project can restart the momentum that has stuttered a little since the United States Grand Prix returned to the calendar at Austin's Circuit of the Americas in 2012.

After a washed-out weekend last year, there is uncertainty about whether the race will go ahead in 2016 as the track deals with mounting financial issues. But with an American team on the grid, the aim of finally breaking through in the States and claiming a foothold in the market can be achieved.

There is definitely a buzz that will be difficult to ignore when the car is revealed and seen on track for the first time.

Just how well the team will do remains largely unknown, but with the right connections, strong backing and desire to succeed, the Haas F1 Team can become a light amid the gloom that has shadowed the sport in recent years.

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