Gene Haas gets foot into F1 with Ferrari deal

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) Haas Automation has become an official sponsor of Ferrari through the 2015 Formula One season.

Haas Automation is the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America and is owned by Gene Haas, the NASCAR team owner recently granted entry into F1.

Haas Formula will not enter F1 until the 2016 season, but Haas is believed to covet a technical partnership with Ferrari.

The sponsorship begins with this weekend's British Grand Prix. Haas Automation will be featured on the lower sidepods of the Ferraris driven by Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

Haas Automation's partnership with Ferrari allows the company to become engaged in the business of F1 before it becomes primary sponsor of Haas' team. Haas is trying to become the first American-based F1 team since 1986.

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