Gene Haas made a huge announcement on Tuesday when he noted that Romain Grosjean will drive the first F1 car in 2016. However, it was what the co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing said about NASCAR that raised some eyebrows at the press conference.
Addressing the differences between NASCAR and Formula One, Haas had some harsh words for the sanctioning body. Let’s just say he doesn’t feel he has a vote in what happens throughout the season.
“NASCAR is more like a dictatorship,” Haas said. “They basically say, ‘This is what we’re going to do,’ and while they listen to your input, they ultimately make all the decisions. In Formula One, they have these strategy sessions where anyone can throw out any idea you want and then they vote on it. That’s fundamentally different than NASCAR.”
With so many changes this season from the different aerodynamic packages to an experimental car tested with a 2017 arrival expected, NASCAR is tweaking the car nearly every season. But without help from owners like Haas or SHR in general, how much progress can truly be made to help teams from a financial standpoint?
But F1 isn’t without its own issues as teams threaten to leave the sport nearly every year.
“There’s a lot of drama,” he said. “Let me tell you, last year, they thought three teams were going to drop out, but the reality is that only Caterham dropped out. So there’s always this thing where two or three teams say they are going to drop out but they always seem to show up the next year.”
Regardless of his thoughts on the sanctioning body, Haas’ team continues to thrive in NASCAR. Kevin Harvick may be on the outside looking in during the Chase, but Kurt Busch is still a contender while rumors swirl about Clint Bowyer potentially replacing Tony Stewart after next season. Don’t expect Haas to slow down anytime soon, despite the struggles he sees in NASCAR ownership.
Tony Stewart and Gene Haas will hold a press conference 1 p.m. ET Wednesday. One guess what the topic may be. #NASCAR
— Jordan Bianchi (@Jordan_Bianchi) September 28, 2015
Haas’ comments are interesting from another standpoint with Rosjean saying he may “give [NASCAR] a go,” per Lee Spencer of Motorsport.com. Given his 10 podium finishes in the last five years at the Formula One level, Rosjean might enjoy some success in the dictatorship that is NASCAR.