Gene Haas now wants a technical partnership with a current Formula 1 manufacturer to get his new team on the 2016 grid, having decided against plans to use Dallara chassis.
“Customer car” rules will be relaxed from 2015 to allow teams to buy more parts from other outfits – a new opportunity Haas intends to make the most of.
Rather than the original idea of using racing car constructor Dallara to build his first F1 challenger, Haas wants to buy engines and as much of a car as his team can from another squad.
“We are trying to nail down a technology partner,” Haas (pictured, right) explained. “We’ve spent a lot of time with Ferrari, and talked a little bit with Mercedes. Engine supplier is only half the equation here, and we’re still working on that.”
Haas said that the Dallara option would have been pursued if he had chosen to enter F1 next year, but he reckons his own company has the ability to build a car itself for 2016 if it can purchase as many other parts as possible off another outfit.
“If we were going to race in 2015 we would have had to have done that package,” said Haas about Dallara. “We have 50 percent of what we need to start building our own cars, and the ultimate goal is to do that, and that’s the way we are going to go.
“But that list of parts we can buy, as it increases, we want to be the team that takes advantage of that rule and try to buy as much as we can. It just costs too much to make all these intricate little detailed parts.”
Team principal Gunther Steiner added: “We will pick up from our technical partner the suspension and all those parts because appendix 6 [listed parts that teams must make themselves] is changing next year.
“We will take on making the remaining stuff ourselves, like the chassis. If it had been 2015 then we wouldn’t have had the time to do it, so now with a little more time we can do that ourselves without going to an outside supplier.
“With the list expanding, that is how we want to act, so therefore the negotiations are a little longer with technical partners because nobody has done that yet.”
NO DEAL YET
Haas is understood to be in most advanced talks with Ferrari regarding a technical partnership, having spent most of his visit to the Canadian Grand Prix with the Maranello-based team. But he says until a deal is agreed then nothing is guaranteed.
“Until we have a signed contract, it’s open,” he said.
When asked when he hoped to have sorted a deal, Haas said: “I would hope we could do that in the next few weeks. Even though we are not racing until 2016, a year is going to go by pretty quick. So it’s important to have a relationship with somebody we can get started with.”