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Haas F1 commitment in question amid Nascar exit

Haas F1 commitment in question amid Nascar exit
© Reuters
Despite Gene Haas' decision to exit Nascar, it's "business as usual" for his Formula 1 team.

Despite Gene Haas' decision to exit Nascar, it's "business as usual" for his Formula 1 team.

At 71, Gene Haas, who also co-owns the Stewart-Haas Nascar team with Tony Stewart, has decided to step back from the top American tin-top series. Stewart-Haas Racing announced: "We have made the difficult decision to close Stewart-Haas Racing at the conclusion of the 2024 season."

"The commitment needed to extract maximum performance while providing sustainability is incredibly demanding, and we've reached a point in our respective personal and business lives where it's time to pass the torch," Haas and Stewart said in a joint statement.

The timing of the announcement coincides with significant developments in Formula 1.

Andretti-Cadillac's attempts to join Formula 1 as the eleventh team, despite opposition from F1 owner Liberty Media, have been strongly supported by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

But Reuters and the BBC quoted Ben Sulayem this week: "I would advise them to go and buy another team, not come as the eleventh team. I feel that some teams need to be refreshed.

"What is better? To have eleven teams as a number or ten and they are strong?" the FIA president added.

Haas, another American entity like Andretti, has always maintained that its F1 team is not for sale. However, it would likely be the most affordable option for Andretti to purchase, potentially strengthening F1's American presence on the grid.

Existing teams also believe Andretti should acquire an established team.

"I think that if Andretti want to come, then obviously their best route is to acquire one of the existing teams," stated Red Bull boss Christian Horner. "A little like Audi acquired Sauber, to protect the current franchise and stability that we have in the sport."

However, a source at Stewart-Haas confirmed it's "business as usual" for Gene Haas' F1 venture, as the CNC machine tool businessman remains "fully behind" Haas F1.

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