Owner of new Haas F1 Team says it is 'not desperate' for sponsors

Gene Haas says his new Formula 1 team is "not desperate" to attract sponsors

Owner of new Haas F1 Team says it is 'not desperate' for sponsors

Haas F1 Team rolled out its maiden car - the VF-16 - last week in Barcelona, and aside from the name of its eponymous owner's machine-tools company and watchmaker Richard Mille, the livery was lacking partners.

By contrast, Stewart-Haas Racing's NASCARs are effectively billboards, promoting different brands across different races.

"We have lots of people who want to sponsor us - they just don't want to pay us the money we want!" Haas joked, when asked about the spartan livery of his F1 car.

How do you build a new F1 team?

The American has entered F1 partly to promote his company, believing the 350 million people who watch will enable him to go global.

For now, Haas believes other brands on his car could prove detrimental on that front.

"Having the car branded under our name is actually good for our product line," said Haas.

"But we're not a consumer product, which is something that may have more attention in terms of marketing, but it works well for our brand.

"If the right sponsor came along, and wants to sponsor us, we're definitely going to listen to that.

"But at the same time, we're not desperate. We don't need sponsors to do what we are doing.

"We're very efficient at what we do, our budget is very reasonable for what we are attempting to do.

"So when the right partner comes along, that's when we'll make that change."

TECH ANALYSIS: The Haas VF-16

Haas recognises that until his cars perform on track, sponsors are likely to hold fire to ensure they are not associated with a back-of-the-grid team.

"The biggest problem is we don't have a product yet, we've never been on a track, so we have nothing to really sell to anybody," added Haas.

"People would be a little bit afraid of going out on the track and embarrassing their name.

"If you go out there and you look bad they are probably not going to want to sponsor you.

"But I'm optimistic that when we go out there we're going to look professional, we're going to be able to compete on a level other teams will be able to respect.

"That should make sponsors say 'OK, there's a product, we can see it, it can deliver', and that should make them feel more comfortable about wanting to sponsor us."

Ideally, Haas would like an American consumer brand to join his F1 journey.

"You look at what's on the track today - exotic cars, energy drinks - anything that has mass appeal we would certainly be interested in, and I think we can do a good job of marketing a product," said Haas.

"Especially an American product all over the world because there is a huge audience for Formula 1."

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