Haas Formula will decide within the next 4-6 weeks or so whether or not it will enter F1 in either 2015 or 2016.
The company confirmed it has been awarded a Formula 1 license by the FIA at the end of last week [see separate story - HERE
] and in a press conference on Monday, founder Gene Haas added that the squad has until June to make a definite decision.
“The FIA has basically told us we have to elect which year we want to participate in, and I think there is a timetable sometime around June to do that,” he confirmed. “I think 2015 is too close, and I think 2016 is too far, so that's kind of where I see it.
“If we wait till 2016 we're going to start delaying and start strategising and end up spending even more money because we'll just be basically in a neutral position until maybe the middle of next year.
“Right now we're in the middle of next year for the 2015 series. So what we need to do is come up with a plan where we can arrive with a car, I'll use the word customer car, [even though] that's not acceptable in F1, where we can arrive with a car that's based on our partners' technology and is within the rules of the FIA. And that's what we really need to do. That's what our goal is as simple as that. We'll have to beg, borrow or steal whatever we can to arrive at that first race so we can compete.
“It's more important to arrive at the first race and have a car with the wheels that don't fall off, and we have a team to get that car on the track and be competitive than it is what we bring to the track. So that's really what the goal is.
“It's a tough decision and something we'll have to figure out in the next few weeks. It won't be easy. But, obviously, it's crucial. If we say we're going to be there in 2015, it's going to be a crunch, but if it's a decision we make and if that's the decision we make, that's what we'll do.”
Team principal, Guenther Steiner added: “I think first of all we tell everybody in the next four weeks or around four weeks if it's '15 or '16. For sure if we do it '15, we would have the answers by then because by now we would know what we'd be doing. But I think we need to define first our technical partner and then see and go from there. But we will announce in the next weeks, four to six, I would say, what we are doing. Then it's only eight months to go. So we need to do it rather soon.
“But we want to make the right decision. We don't want to jump and say wow, we got this one wrong and then fade. We will speak with people, and then we'll make a qualified decision. And we've got the option to start in '16 if we think it is not doable in a good professional way for '15.”