Better for Gene Haas to buy Lotus than to start F1 team from scratch

For years, every time the commissioner of the National Football League would hold a “state of the league" media conference, some Canadian reporter would ask if Toronto was going to get an expansion team. Every time, the commissioner would say it was unlikely.

This wasn’t because Canada isn’t a nice place, or because Toronto doesn’t have enough people or money. It was just that if the league was going to expand, there were American cities ahead of Toronto on the list.

Which explains why people in Toronto have switched focus and are trying to get an established team — like the Buffalo Bills — to move. It’s so much easier to get into the game with a team that exists rather than trying to start from scratch.

Which brings me today to NASCAR team owner Gene Haas, who is ambitious to go Formula One racing in 2015. The FIA has asked for “expressions of interest" in filling a vacant slot in the F1 lineup and Haas has said he’d like to give it a shot.

Now, Gene Haas might have all the money in the world (for all I know). But to start a Formula One team from scratch, which seems to be his plan, will cost not one fortune, but several. And to think it can be done in less than a year is, simply, a pipe dream.

But there’s another way for Haas to go Formula One racing in 2015. He could buy one of the established teams.

And there’s one in particular that seems to be on really rocky ground at the moment: Lotus F1.

It would be a helluva lot cheaper than starting a team and Haas could even be a winner right out of the gate.

Bernie Ecclestone says it’s unlikely Haas will get his wish to start a new team. But Bernie has been known to manipulate a situation or two in his time and some backroom maneuvering in this case could result in everybody being happy.

Gene Haas would be living his dream of owning an F1 team and Lotus could live to race another day.

Maybe it won’t happen. But it should.

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