CONSTRUCTORS: HAAS/FORCE (FORMULA ONE RACE CAR ENGINEERING)

Name: Haas/FORCE (Formula One Race Car Engineering)

In the autumn of 1984 Carl Haas landed a major new sponsor for his Indycar team and it soon came to light that Beatrice Companies Inc. - a massive American consumer conglomerate - had agreed to finance a Formula 1 team as well. Haas later announced that he had secured a three-year deal for the exclusive use of Ford's V6 turbo engines and had a contract with former World Champion Alan Jones. Haas established Formula One Race Car Engineering in a factory at Colnbrook, near London's Heathrow Airport and began recruiting some of the top names in Formula 1. Teddy Mayer and Tyler Alexander - former partners in McLaren were taken on to run the operation and Neil Oatley, John Baldwin and Ross Brawn were taken on as designers. The cars were called Lolas because of Haas's position as the Huntingdon company's American representative but had little to do with Eric Broadley's operation.

The Ford V6 turbo would not be ready for the 1985 season and so Haas did a deal to run with Hart turbo engines.

In July 1985 there was a change of the top management at Beatrice with racing enthusiast James Dutt being replaced by Williams Granger and rumors soon began, suggesting that Beatrice was not committed to the program. The first car - designated a Beatrice Lola Hart THL1 - was launched that summer and Jones raced in three Grands Prix at the end of the year but failed to finish in any of them. The THL1 would see further service in 1986 and by the time the Ford-engined THL2 was ready Beatrice had announced its withdrawal from F1. In the early races Patrick Tambay finished eighth in Spain in one of the old cars but the arrival of the new car did not greatly improve performance as the Ford engine was underpowered and unreliable. Tambay missed Detroit after injuring several toes in a crash in Canada. His place was taken by Eddie Cheever.

In June the team hired Adrian Newey from March and performances improved towards the end of the season with both Jones and Tambay scoring points. Haas tried to find the money to keep the team going in 1987 but failed in this quest and in October he sold the operation to Bernie Ecclestone. Alexander and Mayer went back to America, Oatley went to McLaren, Newey went back to March and Brawn took seven engineers with him to Arrows.

The FORCE factory was later used as a base for the Alfa 164 Celebrity Challenge cars. Ecclestone sold the factory to March Cars in 1989 and from 1990 was used to build Ralt Formula 3 machines and March-Alfa Romeo Indycars.

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