Gene Haas made his first visit to a 2015 Grand Prix in Barcelona as plans for his team to enter F1 next year continue to move on apace.
Haas’s prospects have clearly been boosted by the improvement in the form of the Ferrari power unit that his team will use, although he says he always confident that would happen.
“I’ve been in racing long enough to know that Ferrari is not going to be kept down!,” he told this writer. “We kind of knew that going into it that Ferrari was certainly going to pick up the pace.
“We are very grateful to Ferrari, we hope that we offer something to Ferrari too, because I think there’s no plan for how new teams start. Over the last five years four teams started and I don’t think too many of them survived. There’s obviously a need for some way of starting teams. This is just another variation on that.”
As its plans progress and the new team gains credibility more drivers are indicating an interest – and Haas agrees that bigger names are likely to join that list as time goes by.
“You can’t really sign up a driver until you get near the end of the season. Because you don’t really know who’s going to be available. We’re certainly not going to start off with a novice driver that has no experience in F1. The timing is what it is. It’s going to be sometime during the end of the summer, when people start moving around.
“As time goes on and people see the organisation building up that’s going to lead to them taking us seriously, and we obviously need serious drivers. I think there’s still a lot of scepticism as to whether we’ll even be there or not, but as we get closer and closer it’s up to us to defuse that and say, ‘Hey, we’re coming.’”