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A team run by successful IndyCar team owner Gene Haas has taken a step closer to becoming a part of F1 in 2015.
Bernie Ecclestone had previously cast doubt on whether Haas would go ahead with the entry. In January, he said of the Haas bid (speaking to racer.com):
They have been talking about it for three years. Two or three people there. I would say it is most unlikely.
Somebody can have 10 billion in the bank but it doesn't mean they are going to spend it. It's nothing to do with having enough resources. You can't tell them to make a commitment because it's a commitment to do what? It's always been like that.
The FIA is not introducing a new team, the team is asking for an entry. Somebody has asked, 'Can we have an entry.' I doubt they will get in.
However, it seems things have changed, and he is now open to the Haas entry—but it's not a done deal just yet.
The F1 supremo told The Independent:
I think Haas will be accepted.
They have got the money but it's a question of whether they are going to spend it. I've spoken to Haas but I don't know what they are going to do. It's America, so I don't know.
Money will be the main influence on Haas' final decision, and Ecclestone added that he expects a new team to burn through $1 billion in just four years.
If the Haas entry does go ahead, they will be the first American team to enter F1 since Penske and Shadow in the 1970s.
The last proposed entry from the States, US F1, collapsed months before they were due to compete in their first race.