Could Gene Haas be eyeing F1’s exit door?

"We have made the difficult decision to close Stewart-Haas Racing"


30 May 2024 - 13:47
Could Gene Haas be eyeing F1's (…)

It’s "business as usual" at Gene Haas’ Formula 1 team, even if the American millionaire has decided to pull out of Nascar.

As well as owning the Haas F1 team, the 71-year-old also co-owns the Stewart-Haas Nascar outfit in collaboration with well-known driver Tony Stewart.

Stewart-Haas has now announced: "We have made the difficult decision to close Stewart-Haas Racing at the conclusion of the 2024 season.

"The commitment needed to extract maximum performance while providing sustainability is incredibly demanding, and we’ve reached a point in our respective personal and business lives where it’s time to pass the torch," Gene Haas and Stewart declared in a joint statement.

The timing of Haas’ decision is interesting, as it coincides with a major development in the Formula 1 world.

Andretti-Cadillac’s struggle to be welcomed into Formula 1 as an eleventh team, whilst opposed by F1 owner Liberty Media, has always been staunchly supported by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

But Reuters quoted the FIA chief as declaring this week: "I would advise them to go and buy another team, not come as the eleventh team.

"I feel that some teams need to be refreshed. What is better? To have eleven teams as a number or ten and they are strong?"

Haas, an American entity like Andretti, has always insisted that its Formula 1 team is not for sale. But it would likely be the most affordable outfit for Andretti to buy, whilst perhaps strengthening F1’s sole American representation on the grid.

The existing teams also think Andretti should buy an existing team.

"I think that if Andretti want to come, then obviously their best route is to acquire one of the existing teams," said Red Bull boss Christian Horner. "A little like Audi acquired Sauber, to protect the current franchise and stability that we have in the sport."

A source at Stewart-Haas, however, said it’s "business as usual" for Gene Haas’ F1 project, as the CNC machine tool entrepreneur is still "fully behind" Haas F1.

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