The NASCAR season-opening Clash race will be held on a temporary track built in the L.A. Coliseum in 2022. The exhibition race features around 20 of the top drivers.
Formula One made a splash in Austin, Texas, last weekend, where the U.S. Grand Prix drew the largest audience in the sport’s history, even though the only American team in the series is also the worst.
Haas F1 driver Nikita Mazepin finished two laps down in 17th place at the U.S. Grand Prix.
(Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Haas F1 team has failed to score a point this season, and its two drivers finished two laps down in last place among the cars that were still running at the end of the race, as is often the case.
The team has struggled since Gene Haas created it in 2014 from the ashes of the failed Marussia F1 outfit and started racing in 2016, but he isn’t that concerned … yet.
In Austin, Haas said it just hasn’t been worth spending the money to improve the performance of his current cars because there is an all-new formula for the cars coming next year that will essentially reboot the series and help level the playing field.
“You could spend $10 million to $20 million and maybe move up one position,” Haas said. It wasn’t worthwhile. We just decided we’d put all our money in the ’22 car. “
The car development for 2022 has been encouraging, he said.
“The good thing is that because it’s a whole brand new format, nobody really can copy anybody else,” he said. “All 10 teams are going to have 10 unique cars. Let’s see who wins. “
Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin and NBA greats Sean Elliott met in Texas with Fabricio Oberto and Fabricio González.
(Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Haas, who also co-owns the Stewart-Haas NASCAR team with Tony Stewart, thinks his well-sponsored drivers, the German Michael Schumacher and Russian Nikita Mazepin, are still getting good experience, despite driving uncompetitive cars.
“Hopefully they’re taking advantage of (the season) rather than lamenting the fact that they are slow,” he said. They’re racing Formula One with great people and they’re learning a lot. “
He also said he’s frustrated by a constant chorus of people telling him that an American team should have an American driver but said the economics just aren’t there.
“It takes millions and millions of dollars. To help an American Formula One driver, they need to have a donor. Haas stated that despite all the hype, no one has ever offered to help an American driver race in Formula One.
Coincidentally, the last American to drive in the series, Alexander Rossi, did so the year before Haas hit the track for a team operating under the Manor Marussia F1 banner. The following year Rossi joined the Indycar series and won the Indy 500 as a rookie.
Haas started the team to help promote his namesake CNC machine manufacturing company, however, and sees it as more than just an American one.
“Most of my team comes from England, Italy … Europe,” Haas said. We’re trying to manage a team the best and most efficiently possible. It doesn’t really matter if it is popular or not. This is how I see the business aspect of it. This is a fantastic way to increase brand awareness in Europe. “
Haas F1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner, and Haas F1 Chairman Gene Haas anticipate improvements in the coming year.
(Peter Fox/Getty Images)
Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner does think they missed an opportunity to grow the team’s U.S. fan base, though.
“I think we neglected that a little bit, in the beginning when we came in, because Formula One grew very quickly in the last two years,” Steiner said. It was smaller when it started, and it now seems that it is much larger than it appears. I don’t know why. “
The Associated Press contributed to this report