Gene Haas made headlines last summer when he announced that Stewart-Haas Racing would be expanding from three cars to four cars in 2014. Haas continued to make headlines when the topic came up about starting a Formula 1 team.
The venture would be one that Haas would tackle without Tony Stewart as Stewart said on Monday that was Haas' deal. Stewart added that he's excited for Haas and think it's a great opportunity.
"It’s not something that you can just make a decision and go do it," Stewart added. "There’s a lot of process in learning how it all works. I think Gene has had the ability to build a championship caliber team in NASCAR and now it’s just working on expanding on it and going worldwide. We’re supportive of it. I’m going to be busy enough trying to keep Zippy happy, but I think we’re all supportive enough of his aspirations to be in Formula 1. Gene is the kind of person when he puts his mind to something, he can make it happen and stays focused on it. He’s done with the cup side, he’s done that with Haas automation and now in Formula 1."
Haas said he has had been interesting in Formula 1 for a couple years and understands that it's a difficult challenge that shouldn't be taken lightly.
"It’s filled with ways to fail and there’s a million ways to fail," he commented. "For all those reasons, that’s why you do it to see if it’s something that you can do. In NASCAR, we’ve taken a lot of steps – obviously some steps back – but partnering with Tony was a step forward. Those things we’ve learned is things we can apply to Formula 1 in focusing on racing and getting a car on track and being able to compete in that forum."
Haas went on to say that he a tremendous amount of respect for all motorsports due to the legacy behind each series.
"It’s a complex process trying to do that one step at a time," he continued. "I think it’d be a great honor as an American to participate in that type of racing. It also has a good business aspect to it, too. I think it has a lot of features that fall in line with what we’ve accomplished here with SHR. Those reasons are the reasons to do it.
"It’s certainly an enormous challenge and something that can’t be taken lightly. It’s a challenge. That’s the fun part of life. You don’t try, you won’t fail."
Kurt Busch, who joins SHR this season, says hearing the news show Haas' passion for motorsports.
"We’re seeing that more so of his ambition in motorsports in looking at a Formula 1 application and his commitment to making a foot print in this motorsports world," Busch commented.