Bernie Ecclestone says that two future F1 entries have been accepted – although he didn’t specify when they would join the World Championship.
The two teams in the frame in recent weeks are from the USA and Romania. The Gene Haas project will in essence be a Ferrari customer team using as much Maranello technology as the rules allow. Next year the rules on sharing technology have been relaxed, so that in effect a team needs to have only its own IP in terms of chassis and bodywork.
TheRomanian-backed team, which is expected to use a Renault engine, will use the Bavarian facilities of Dr Colin Kolles. There was also an approach from Stefan GP which is believed to has less weight behind it.
It’s not clear yet whether Haas could be ready to go for 2015, but sources say that the Romanian project is aiming for next season, given that Kolles already has a well-equipped facility in Germany.
Asked about Haas, Bernie said: “They will be accepted. We’ve also accepted another team as well. Whether they make it or not is another story. We’re happy to have another couple of teams. I’ve spoken to Jean Todt about it. We agreed yesterday, if two teams want to come in, we’ll let them in.”
Asked if 13 teams was acceptable, he said: “Yeah, sure.”
Haas is building a facility close to his NASCAR base and the Windshear Wind Tunnel, and is also expected to have a facility in Italy.
The driving force behind the Romanian project is Ion Bazac, a qualified doctor and former Romanian health minister. The 45-year-old has a number of business interests and is the country’s Ferrari importer, under the name Forza Rossa – an ironic twist given that the rival Haas project is Ferrari-backed. He’s also a past chairman of loan company Global Finance & Leasing.
He is the president a consortium of private and state funded investors whose motive is to promote the interests of Romania, and who have the support of the government.