New Haas F1 car passes crash test

LONDON (Reuters) - The new U.S.-owned Haas Formula One team looked forward to running their car for the first time in Spain next month after it passed a final mandatory crash test on Friday.

The team, who have a European base at Banbury in central England, announced on their Twitter feed that they had passed the governing FIA’s test.

They plan to unveil the Ferrari-powered car, designed by Dallara in Italy, the day before the first pre-season test starts at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Feb. 22.

Teams cannot test until they have passed the crash tests.

Haas’s debut will boost the grid to 11 teams and, thanks to their close partnership with Ferrari, the first U.S. owned team in the sport since 1986 hope to be competitive with midfield teams like Sauber and Toro Rosso from early on.

The debutants have signed experienced Frenchman Romain Grosjean from Lotus and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, who raced for Sauber before a year as Ferrari reserve, as their two drivers.

The season starts in Australia on March 20.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by...