Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff says the relationship between Haas and Ferrari opens up new possibilities for teams to enter Formula One.
Haas will join the grid next year and will do so with a car that shares as many parts as is allowed under the regulations with Ferrari. Haas has to own the IP for its monocoque, survival cell, roll structure, bodywork, wings, floor and diffuser, but all other components will be supplied by Ferrari as part of a technical deal with Maranello.
Haas' relationship with the Italian team also extends to the use of its wind tunnel, which it has been using extensively to develop its 2016 car. Rival teams were suspicious of the relationship, believing Haas may be running a joint wind tunnel programme with Ferrari to help develop the SF15-T, but a visit by the FIA's Marcin Budkowski reported nothing wrong with the way the two teams were operating. Nevertheless, the Haas/Ferrari relationship has caught the eye of rivals Mercedes.
"I think there is a possibility for various models - the Haas model is clearly a very intelligent way of entering Formula One," Wolff said when asked about new teams coming into the sport.
"It's been all compliant and it was checked with the FIA. Marcin was there and audited, so we have no doubt that it is all fair and square. But the answer is yes, it opens up an avenue for new models of collaboration and customer teams or different associations."
The FIA recently opened up a tender for an additional team to join the grid in either 2016 or 2017, leading to speculation another manufacturer might look to run a team in close collaboration with its own outfit. But Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn is wary of newcomers entering the sport with too close a relationship to an existing team.
"I don't think that is a good move for Formula One because it is going down the road of customer cars," she said. "Then you have all the issues of how to finance the team. You can have an arrangement with a big team and put in their driver and maybe you get more money from the commercial rights holder, but that's not the way you should go because you should be there on your own.
"They should come, but they should make sure they come in with the right expectations and not just try to fit in somewhere because it suits some other team. You should come in wanting to be your own independent team and knowing it's going to be difficult."