Ladies and gentlemen, there is a new team in Formula 1... and when I say new, I don't mean they bought out an existing team. I mean they're starting from scratch. What's more, it's an American* team! Say hello to HAAS F1 Team. Then find a way to memorise the pronunciation - ignore Sky F1, it's not pronounced "Hass." That is the wrong way to pronounce it. Did these people see the name SAAB and pronounce it "Sabb?" No I bet they didn't!! So ignore them. It's pronounced with a long A, like "ah." In other words, it rhymes with arse, not ass, as was rather pleasingly confirmed by Romain Grosjean, who initially called them "Team Arse" thanks to his French accent.
*Well, it's mostly American. Their main headquarters is in Kannapolis, North Carolina, but they also have a UK base in Banbury in Oxfordshire (former Marussia F1 HQ) where they employ local engineers and others with Formula 1 experience to run things during the European races. The UK is where the vast majority of F1 engineering talent is, so it makes sense to have a presence here and that's why all but three teams on the grid have one. On that note, team principal Günter Steiner says that around 90% of the team staff were hired from other F1 teams. What's more, while HAAS designed the tub chassis, front crash structure and aerodynamics of the car, they buy in everything else from Ferrari and get Dallara (who build Indycars, GP2 and GP3 cars among others) to actually manufacture the chassis. This was all done to save time and money, which is prudent when you consider that the top teams are spending upwards of $300million per season in total and that, of the previous three "new teams" that joined in 2010, only a re-branded and relocated Manor Racing survive... and by the skin of their teeth at that. Besides, as team founder Gene Haas (who pronounces it "Haas" and not "Hass," remember) pointed out during a September press conference, "like any business, you have to learn it [F1], and the best way to learn it is from other people." As we enter the third year of the hybrid era, prior experience matters. Still, I'd speculate that if they grow into a big team in the coming years, they'll gradually move more things in-house.
Helping them to try to score points are Romain Grosjean, who joins the team from ex-Lotus, and Ferrari reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez, who after two unspectacular years at Sauber in 2013-4 is mostly known for having a massive neck and eyebrows, and saying "Woah, what was that?!" after being flipped over by Maldonado. Oh, and being Mexican, hence the Telcel logos on the car's mirrors. Grosjean was chosen for his experience of last year's cars, while Gutierrez is there on the strength of Ferrari's technical partnership with the team. Theoretically, both drivers could be in line to replace Kimi Räikkönen at the red team if he decides to leave Formula 1.
You can follow the beginnings of America's Formula 1 team on their YouTube channel and other social media outlets in the obvious places. Testing starts, well, today!
Just please whatever you do, don't pronounce it "Hass." A four-letter word should not be difficult to comprehend. Unless you work for Sky, which is actually pronounced "Skah." Not really.