At a time when F1’s smaller teams are crying out for fairer distribution of prize money, Gene Haas has bucked the trend as he believes the big boys deserve extra.
With Formula 1 under new ownership, Liberty Media are expected to make changes in the sport one of which is the fairer distribution of revenue to teams as governed by the Concorde Agreement.
Added to that, Liberty Media has already spoken about dropping the bonuses paid to some team such as Ferrari’s bonus for being the oldest marque in the sport.
Haas, however, believes some teams deserve the extra that they receive.
“I have a lot of respect for Mercedes and Ferrari and Red Bull because they’ve put a lot of money into the sport,” the Haas team owner told Racer.
“To sit here and say, ‘I as a smaller team deserve more money in the sport’… I’ve never thought that way, even in NASCAR and that pays a lot less than Formula 1 does.
“I have to give Ferrari the benefit of the doubt. To say Ferrari doesn’t deserve that Column 3 money, which is because their name is Ferrari… but Ferrari brings an awful lot of customers to these races.
“So they’re just taking a small portion of the ticket sales for themselves, but I won’t sit there and say they don’t deserve it.
“If it was just Haas, Manor and Sauber showing up for these races, I don’t think anyone would come! I think you need those big names.”
He added: “If you think about Ferrari, an iconic name, been around forever, that’s a perfect example of someone who achieved stardom because of racing.
“Their primary purpose was building the cars but the racing was what made them famous. I’m kind of trying to follow the same path; I build machine tools but it’s the racing that makes you famous.
“If you have a Mercedes or Red Bull, those are the guys that really bring the fans in. I think that they’re necessary.
“We need to be careful that we don’t take money away from them to give to a team that maybe doesn’t deserve it…
“Our challenge is to show that we can compete with those guys and I think if we can do that, it gives us an aura of invincibility that I think people will respect.”