Haas ‘make decision’ on selling F1 team with Andretti waiting in the wings | F1 | Sport

Gene Haas reportedly has no intention of selling his F1 team, despite announcing alongside business partner Tony Stewart that the Stewart Haas Racing organisation will shut its doors at the end of the 2024 campaign.

The two-time Cup Series champions have 69 wins to their name over their 15 years in the sport, but with four charters in their possession and Josh Berry, Noah Gragson, Chase Briscoe and Ryan Preece all 16th or below in the standings, the owners have made the decision to close the team, along with the Xfinity Series operation.

Explaining the decision to put an end to their time in NASCAR, Stewart and Haas said: “We have made the difficult decision to close Stewart-Haas Racing at the conclusion of the 2024 season. It is a decision that did not come easily, nor was it made quickly.

“Racing is a labour-intensive, humbling sport. It requires unwavering commitment and vast resources, with a 365-day mindset to be better than everyone else. It’s part of what makes success so rewarding.”

This decision and Haas’ suggestion about a reluctance to fund the team raised questions about his struggling F1 operation. The North Carolina-based team have enjoyed a relatively strong start to the 2024 season scoring seven points from the opening eight races, but their potential will remain untapped as long as Gene opts not to provide more funding.

With Haas holding the reputation of perennial backmarkers since their electrifying 2018 campaign, Gene’s future and commitment to the project have routinely been questioned. With Andretti looking for a route onto the grid and the team already based in America, many have speculated that a buyout could be on the cards.

However, according to a report from Associated Press journalist Jenna Fryer, Haas has no plans to strip back his investment in the F1 project or sell the team entirely off the back of his NASCAR decision.

This will be a spanner in the works for Andretti, who were advised after the Monaco Grand Prix to abandon their plan to enter F1 as an 11th team and instead buy an existing team that has fallen on hard times, such as Haas or Alpine.

“These were the thoughts of FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who said. “I would advise them to go and buy another team, not to come as the 11th team. I feel that some teams need to be refreshed. What is better? To have 11 teams as a number or 10 and they are strong? I still believe we should have more teams. But not any teams. The right teams.”

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