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Gene Haas planning Formula One exit?

Gene Haas planning Formula One exit?

F1 News

Gene Haas planning Formula One exit?

Gene Haas planning Formula One exit?

Formula One could be on the brink of becoming a nine-team championship as Haas team owner, Gene Haas, openly questions the logic of continuing into the new 2021 era of the sport.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com, Haas said that he would not wait long into the 2020 season before making a decision.

"I'm just kind of waiting to see how this season starts off," he said when asked about what his thoughts were for the future.

"If we have another bad year, then it would not be that favourable [to stay].

"We did five years. That was really the test – we're going to do this for five years, see how it goes and evaluate it and then we'll decide whether to go forward.

"I'm not saying we won't be back. It has to be evaluated. To do it for another five years, though, that would be a big commitment."

While Haas admitted that Formula One gave the brand access to European and Asian markets that they would never have otherwise reached, the cost of the sport is catching up to the team owner.

New regulations for 2021 will see a strict $175 million budget cap introduced, but the accompanying radical new aerodynamic changes will see the cost of developing a 2020 car alongside an effort for 2021 skyrocket, and Haas is asking himself some tough questions.

"There's so much change going on in Formula 1, you really have to ask yourself is it really going to be worth the expense to try to implement all these changes? I know everyone thinks the changes are good, but – boy – they're expensive.

"These changes that they implement, I think they do it with the best of intentions but when you are on the other side of the equation trying to implement them, economically it's extremely difficult."

After adding, "It's definitely not financially worth it, I can tell you that," Haas again highlighted the disparity in payouts between the top three teams and the rest.

"The business model does not favour the smaller teams. As everybody knows with the way the money has been distributed 70 percent of it goes to the top three teams and 30 percent of it goes to the other seven teams. It's not a good economic model.

"At least in our condition, you're only paid about a third of what it actually costs to run a team in Formula 1. So, from a business model it doesn't do that well.

"Obviously, every team has a different nature as to why they do it. Some of it is primary sponsorship. Ferrari is that they've been doing it for 60 years.

"But they take home enough money to actually make the $175 million cap, but a lot of the other teams operate on a quarter of that. So, how can you really run a race team with that kind of disparity?"


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