Haas: Budget cap 'will be a game changer' in F1

Gene Haas, Haas F1 Team
© XPB 

Haas F1 Team owner Gene Haas is predicting a fundamental change to the Formula 1 landscape if proposals for a budget cap are adopted.

The cap is one of the ideas being considered by the sport's commercial rights holders for introduction in 2021.

It aims to reduce the gap between the big-spending teams at the front, and the midfield operations working to a tight budget.

“The budget cap is a game changer,” Haas told the official Formula 1 website this week. “It will create a new raft of different winners. And I guess there will be some losers on the other side."

Haas is confident that his team will be among the winners. The way it's been set up from the start is closer to the model envisaged by Formula 1 for the future.

“If and when the cost cap comes, I think we’re in a good place," he said.

"Our biggest advantage is we’re adaptable to change quickly, because we’re new at it," he said. "We feel like that’s our advantage. We can adapt quickly.

"The bigger, more established teams have a harder time. They are like a big boat, they just don’t move quickly.

"Flexibility is our advantage," he insisted.

"We didn’t invest a lot of money in infrastructure, R&D and design. The stuff we get has been designed over 20 years so we can take advantage of that.

"We don’t have any history tied to that so we can move on. All of a sudden, if a different part becomes available that is better, we can change immediately if we have to.

Haas said he was still puzzled why no other teams have followed his model of a close technical partnership with Ferrari.

"We talked to Mercedes and Ferrari and they were both open to the exact same idea, we’ll sell you anything you want,” he said.

"That’s available today. If you want to go to Mercedes and buy components from them, I think they are more than happy to probably sell them to you. It’s good business for them."

If the budget cap doesn't yield the progress Haas is hoping for - or if the cap fails to become part of the sport's regulations - then the American billionaire warned that he wouldn't be content just to hang around in the margins forever.

“When we start losing, we don’t want to be here,” he stated. “If I can’t keep going forward, there’s no use being in Formula 1.

"But I still think our model keeps us going forward."

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