Team owner Carl Haas who had already competed successfully for nearly two decades in all major American road racing series, entered Formula 1 towards the end of 1985 backed by Beatrice Foods and the Ford Motor Company. Haas had signed an exclusive deal to use the twin-turbo Ford-Cosworth V6 engine but the all-new engine was not ready in time for the 1985 season. So for his maiden F1 season Haas had to settle for the readily available 750 hp turbocharged Hart straight four. The all-alloy engine featured a single turbocharger and produced around 750 bhp. Chief designer Neil Oatley designed a very conventional carbon fiber and aluminium honeycomb monocoque chassis that used double wishbones and push-rods on both ends. The car was built near London by a newly formed company called FORCE (Formula One Race Car Engineering ltd.). The first THL1 (Team Haas Lola) was ready for testing in the summer of 1985 and debuted at the Italian Grand Prix driven by ex-World Champion Alan Jones who came back from retirement to drive the new Beatrice-Lola. Over the winter the original Beatrice-Lola was modified to accept the new ultra-wide 900 bhp Ford TEC badged Cosworth V6 turbo designed by Keith Duckworth and John Baldwin. This was a twin-turbo V6 just like the dominant TAG-Porsche, Honda and Ferrari engines. The Ford-engined Beatrice-Lola was labeled the THL2. The team also entered second car for Patrick Tambay pulled out from Renault. The Frenchman had previously won two Can-Am titles for Carl Haas in the late 1970s. The new engine development was delayed, so the team started the 1986 season with THL1. The very first THL2 was made available to Jones for the third race of the season in Spain, and the second car for Tambay was ready for the next race at San Marino Grand Prix. The THL2 was generally regarded to be the best handling car of the season (as well as nice looking), but the reliability of the new engine was the major problem. The car retired in 2/3 of its starts throughout 1986 season. Jones only scored 4 points during the season and Tambay only two points with 5th place in Austria. At the end of the season both Jones and Tambay announced the retirement from F1, and then Haas Team departed the World F1 Championship following the withdrawal of their major sponsor Beatrice Foods.
|Patrick Tambay||16||Team Haas (USA) Ltd|