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Could Maserati be about to return to Formula 1?

Hot on the heels of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 announcement, seeing the return of the Italian carmaker to the pinnacle of motorsport in over 30 years, comes rumours that Maserati may be about to return, linking up with the Haas F1 team.

According to sources, CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to see a similar deal put in place with Haas F1, to see another famous name make it’s return to Formula 1, in what would be almost 60 years since the Maserati name raced in the sport. Marchionne hinted at the recent Alfa Romeo Sauber unveiling that his Formula 1 deal-making might not be over, “Is it possible for the Haas arrangement to turn into something other than what we have today? The answer is potentially ‘yes’,” he said

“But we’re very far away from a resolution on that matter, but it’s possible. We’ll see, time will tell.”

The deal would give Haas, the sport’s only US team, its first major sponsor after two self-funded years in the sport, with Maserati paying a rumoured 10-15 million pounds a season, effectively, the deal would pay Haas’s Ferrari V6 powertrain costs. Like Alfa Romeo’s sponsorship of Sauber, it effectively sees Maserati picking up Haas’s Ferrari costs.

The Maserati-Haas outfit will be the fourth ‘Italian’ team on the 2018 Formula 1 grid, though only Toro Rosso and Ferrari will actually be based in the country.

There is another connection that could be useful to Maserati, with the Haas chassis development and construction contracted to Maserati’s near neighbor, Dallara, while the team also leases wind-tunnel time from Ferrari.

Far from following through with its threat to withdraw from Formula 1, Ferrari seems to be doubling down on the sport at FCA’s expense, creating a three-team voting bloc against the FIA’s proposed changes to its 2019 engine regulations.

Both Haas and Sauber already ran Ferrari powertrains, though only Haas used a current powertrain this season as the cash-strapped Sauber fought on with a 2016 power unit.

The new deals will see both teams use current Ferrari powertrain developments, paid for by Ferrari’s former owners, FCA.

We have contacted HaasF1 but so far they have declined to comment, so it remains to be seen how much truth there is in this latest rumour, as earlier this year Maserati was being linked with  FormulaE, as many manufacturers are now expressing an interest in the electric racing series. Either way it would be good to see the Italian carmaker make a long awaited return to racing at the top…

*excerpts courtesy motoringau

 

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