USF1 to be ‘poster child’ team (updated)

Posted on | Author Gerard Hetman

USF1 logo

F1 Fanatic guest writer Gerard Hetman kept an eye on the USF1 announcement on Speed TV and sent in this report.

Tuesday saw the dawn of a new era in Formula 1 team management and ownership with the launch of the USF1 racing team. Co-founded by longtime F1 stalwarts Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor, the venture was officially unveiled to the world earlier today with a press conference at the Charlotte-based headquarters of SPEED Network, the holder of F1 television rights in the United States.

Hosted by SPEED F1 commentator Bob Varsha, the show would see Anderson and Windsor state that their team would be running and operation for the 2010 F1 season, with the squad being based in Charlotte as previously speculated.

Also included in the launch was commentary from two Americans with past history in F1- 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti, and multiple F1 race winner and Le Mans 24 hours champion Dan Gurney. Andretti phoned in live from his home in Pennsylvania, while Gurney appeared via a taped statement.

Sorting the details

After a brief video segment highlighting previous involvement in Formula 1, questions were taken from the international media contingent assembled. While only a few questions were answered before the public broadcast segment ended, a few key questions were put to Anderson and Windsor by a number of journalist from across America and around the world.

Drivers

Speaking for the duo, Windsor did not confirm any driver in any capacity for involvement with USF1. However, he did speak enthusiastically about a young and developing generation of American drivers that includes Alexander Rossi, Connor Daly, and Josef Newgarden. Speaking to a more developed range of drivers, he referenced former F3 Euroseries and A1GP driver Jonathan Summerton, as well as names currently racing in U.S.-based motor sports, including, yes, Scott Speed and Danica Patrick, as well as NASCAR driver Kyle Busch.

??We haven?t made any decision on drivers yet?? Windsor said of the question. ??Your guess is as good as mine.??

??There?s a list of American drivers out there with the credentials to race in Formula 1 – they?ve proven they?ve got the talent, it?s a question of finding the two most compatible drivers for what we?re out to achieve in year one, and probably year two?? Windsor added.

When asked if he would like to see his grandson Marco make an appearance in F1, Andretti was quick to agree

??I would just love that – it would rejuvenate me?? the racing legend added. ??Marco just wants results to speak for themselves, and then go from there.??

Logistics

When asked about the challenges involved in basing a Formula 1 team away from traditional areas in Europe, Anderson was quick to point out some aspects he sees as advantages rather than obstacles.

??As of next year, less than half the races will be on the (European) continent, so there is less reason for being there?? Anderson said of the team?s decision to be based in Charlotte. ??The cost of doing business in the United States is significantly cheaper than in Europe, and there are a lot of good people here??

??If you take a race like the Spanish Grand Prix or Monaco Grand Prix, with the logistics we have, our cars will be back in Charlotte sooner than most of the British-based teams will have their trucks back at their factories in England?? Windsor added.

Finances

While no sponsors or particular backers were named, Windsor and Anderson said they have the capital in hand to launch their project, and their business model has been endorsed by many in the sport as the ??poster child for how to start a Formula 1 team?? according to Windsor.

??To some extent, the recession has helped us a bit?? Windsor said of his team?s approach to making the budget aspects work. ??For those out there that say where?s all the money… the big facility… the money falling out of the sky – that?s not going to happen with USF1. We?ve always had a very different approach, and that approach will become visible as time goes on.??

Engines

When asked about a potential engine supplier, Windsor confirmed that no deal had yet been reached, but quotes would soon be requested by USF1 from all engine manufacturers currently involved in Formula 1.

Staff

With several local reporters included in the media contingent, Anderson pointed out that the wealth of motor sport infrastructure and personnel in the area would make it quite realistic to start an operation such as USF1.

??We?re looking at over 100 people, highly skilled and highly paid people?? Anderson said in regards to staff size. ??There?s so much that goes into that, such as if you?re building your own engine. McLaren, for example, does a lot of other things besides racing.??

??The opportunities for young Americans with our team is endless.??

U.S. Grand Prix

While niether Anderson nor Windsor made a dedicated plea for the return of the U.S. or Canadian Grand Prix, Windsor made a point of the team?s mission to take America to F1, and not the other way around

??We?ve never seen that as a problem?? Windsor said of the current lack of a home race. ??We?re aiming to take America to F1, in the footsteps of Mario and Dan, and hopefully a return of the U.S. Grand Prix will be a by-product of that. Nothing would be better for us or for American motorsports.??

Update: the rest of Gerard’s report:

Fan Access

Perhaps the most surprising and trend-setting (if it happens) note about USF1 is the involvement with fans and supporters it plans to offer. Windsor said while the station plans to make very good use of it?s proximity to the SPEED studios, USF1 will also have it?s own TV and media operation located in their facility. In addition, Windsor claimed that tours of the USF1 factory would be offered to the general public, with fans being given a previously-unprecedented level of access to the normally closed-door world of Formula 1.

??Just in the year and a half that I have been in Charlotte, I?ve seen what a great job the NASCAR teams do with the fans. We?re in the entertainment business-we?ve been reminding one another of that here since day one?? Windsor said. ??We want this to be a TV-led Formula 1 team, and we will achieve that by not just being close to SPEED, but also by having our own TV operation at our headquarters.??

??Fans are going to be welcomed to come to our headquarters- they?ll be a tour that they can do to see a Formula 1 car being built for the first time.??

Bernie and Max

When asked about the support USF1 has received from Bernie Ecclestone and FIA President Max Mosley, Windsor claimed he first told Ecclestone about the concept at the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix, and that the FOM boss has been supportive of the project ever since then.

??[Bernie Ecclestone] was his usual specific self… he told me ??good-get it done??? Windsor said with a laugh. ??We?ve kept him in touch ever since, and he?s been very supportive. Anything we need, he tries to get us.

??We are working very closely with the FIA in every aspect- keeping them informed about how we develop the team.??

Other details

While passing mention was given to a secondary base of operations in Europe for the team, no specific location or agreement was mentioned by either Anderson or Windsor. Windsor also made it clear that Anderson would function in the role of team principle, with Windsor taking up the role of sporting director for the outfit.

No other dates, timetables, or deadlines were announced regarding USF1 before the end of the televised segment of the press conference, which ran approximately 45 minutes in length.

This is a guest article by Gerard Hetman. If you want to write a guest article for F1 Fanatic you can find all the information you need here.

75 comments on “USF1 to be ‘poster child’ team (updated)”

  1. This is really exciting. It doesn’t sound like pie-in-the-sky dreaming; it sounds like they are working toward getting this off the ground the right way. I can’t wait to see what news comes next. It certainly seems a stark contrast to the endless litany of stories coming from the Honda camp, each one more desperate than the last; none coming to fruition.

  2. nicely put Marc! I do have my reservations as to how this could end up as a monumentul muck-up, but I think this can work aswell. If they dont rush and get some people who know what they’re doing they can create a good racing team. which F1 desperatly needs another one of.

  3. I have to admit I’m a bit skekptical about the long-term viability of this effort. It’s one thing to do get up and running for a year or two…quite something else to keep it going. That said, I wish them all the luck in the world. Done properly, this will be a tremendous addition to the sport.

  4. Nice to see Varsha is involved.

    1. in the show that is

  5. Its true there are a thousand ways they could fall short, but if they have reasonable goals and realistic expectations about when those can be achieved, I imagine they will be well supported. Look at BMW. They have been very reasonable in their goals, and they have done very well in achieving them.

  6. Never…..going….to…..happen…..

  7. Wow, what to believe on such skimpy information. No headquarters, no sponsorship to announce, no alliances with any fabricators, just a grand statement that we can do this smarter and cheaper than anyone else in the world.

    They’ve got brass, I’ll say that much, and I used to believe in Santa and the tooth fairy, but I’m a bit long in the tooth for that now.

    Please show me the money before I sell my soul on this dream. And trust me when I say I dearly want to believe!

    1. I know they are shopping for the building at the moment, Anderson referenced it multiple times on the stage today. I was also a bit disappointed that there were no other announcements today, but perhaps they want to release those things on a gradual basis, creates more of a long-lasting impact that way.

  8. At a F1 race in 2010 the US National Anthem will be played

    1. hmm, I admire your optimism!

    2. I don’t know if it will be in 2010, but it will be played at a podium ceremony someday :) It will be some of the sweetest music to my ears when it dose!

  9. Just noticed the timer counting down to thier launch on thier website has gone back to 50 minutes remaining when the last time i checked it was only a few minutes to go! wierd!

    1. Yeah that’s happened more than once now…
      A sign of things to come!?

    2. If USF1 can find a way of turning back times on the timing computers like they turn back time on that counter, then not only will it find it easy to survive in F1, but Gman’s dream of hearing “The Star Spangled Banner” on a podium will come true very early in 2010 indeed…

  10. This is nice … it’s always nice to hear and see a new team on the Grid. Can’t wait for 2010 for this. One of the best thing about this USF1 team is that they are going to build a team from scratch and not really buy a already structured F1 team. It’s nice to see new team with new way of thinking in F1.

  11. Very interesting stuff, thanks to Gerard for watching and writing this up for us.

    It’s clear that at this stage hard details are thin on the ground. I’m not sure about his case for building the team in America just because only half of the races are in Europe now – it’s not as if there are suddenly lots of races in North America, in fact, there are none.

    Their comments on money explain why they’ve not shown an interest in taking over Honda – it would be too expensive to run the team this year (never mind that without an American base it would probably be harder to attract sponsors).

    It all comes back to the same situation we had with Prodrive. If the FIA can deliver on its promise to bring in these new regulations for 2010 then USF1’s business model can work. But as Prodrive discovered, there is some risk in relying on the FIA to do what it says it’s going to do…

    1. I’ve read in a Spanish newspaper that Joan Villadeprat (CEO of Epsilon Euskadi automotive centre) has offered USF1 to rent a portion of their brand new facilites in Vitoria (Near to Bilbao in the north of Spain) for building a base in Europe for USF1.

      As in Spain there are 2 F1 GP and most of the test during pre-season, it sounds reasonable.

      On the other hand, USF1 as a brand, with a team based in Spain and using motors of some european manufacturer… it doesn’t sound quite a lot reasonable.

  12. I’m excited to see this move forward, but I hope this doesn’t mean Speed will be without Windsor for the 2009 season.

    1. I believe he will be there for 2009, as he said he was quite excited for Oz already. After that, however, I have no idea. I do know that SPEED’s contract with F1 is up at the end of the year, so perhaps he’s jumping ship at the right time.

  13. Yeah I hope Windsor is not gone in 2009 because I have little hope that they could get a replacement that is as knowledgeable as he is. His insight in the races makes watching the races more enjoyable.

  14. The site is actually up now too BTW.

  15. I’m all for a new F1 team, but I’d much rather it wasn’t an American team being run by Peter Windsor. For anyone with the 2008 season review on DVD, go and watch the bit before the German GP, where Lewis Hamilton gets asked the most ridiculously complicated question you’ll ever here. It’ll give you an idea of what a wally Peter Windsor is.

    And if anyone happens to a January 2008 issue of F1 Racing, check out an article written by Windsor on ‘national teams’ on pg 21. He didn’t seem too keen on them back then…

  16. Having sat and watched the whole thing apart from about 50% lost to buffering it seems quite clear that this was just a puff piece to try and generate some interest at home.

    Any casual viewer would believe that the whole operation will be in Charlotte when we all know Epsilon Euskadi will be doing a lot.

    I never had Windsor as an old hippy but all the bull about the thing just growing organically and beautifully while they have TV cameras everywhere is hardly going to have Ferrari or McLaren worried. If they don’t want to be 3 seconds off the back of the grid they better have a fully worked out plan now or they are going to look really stupid.

    I thought it was interesting how many time McLaren were mentioned. In recent weeks my personal conspiracy theory has been that Steve Nichols did notleave McLaren to do NASCAR he lfet to join this team. I expect that they will use Mercedes engines and as the interview host pointed out they are not restricted in the testing they do as they have not entered the championship. What better place for Paul di Resta to get a few thousand miles of uncontrolled testing in a year old McLaren?

    I hope Vctor is right and the US GP returns in 2010. That is the only way that national anthem will be played. Anyone who thinks they are going to turn up and win doesn’t understand the game. I hope they don’t raise the expectations of the American fans too high and disappoint them.

    1. In recent weeks my personal conspiracy theory has been that Steve Nichols did notleave McLaren to do NASCAR he lfet to join this team.

      You could be on to something there…

    2. Do we mean Steve Hallam? Nichols although american left Mclaren in 1989 to join Ferrari I think.

  17. I managed to miss the first 20 minutes or so.

    This is quite exciting, I’ve been an American F1 fan since the days of Lauda, Fittipaldi, Andretti, and Hunt.

    I also wonder whether or not we’ll be seeing Peter Windsor in his normal role on Speed this season.

    Finally, the fact that they are talking to all of the engine manufacturers, made me wonder if BMW might be a good fit since the BMW plant in Greer, SC is not far down I-85 from Charlotte. Of course that would be more for marketing than for technical reasons.

    1. You’re on the track I believe they will take with BMW, as I can see them putting a support package together with USF1 in the same manner that McLaren is now doing with Force India. Don’t forget that Dr. Mario is one of the biggest proponents of a strong F1 presence in North America, and BMW dosen’t have any existing engine deal with a team on the grid.

  18. @marc, “look at BMW”, BMW bought a reasonably succesful team and built on it steadily. This USF1 ‘team’ seems to be starting from scratch, and at the moment, consists of…………what exactly? Lots of talk and a website. I could do that. All we need now is a statement that they “will win their first race.” Beyond marketing reasons, has anything from recent years shown a real desire for a US F1 team (or Grand Prix)? It’s only the manufacturers who really want it to happen, and how many of them will still be in F1 in a couple of years time?

    1. So, maybe that’s a good thing to be starting from scrath. Honda took over a reasonably successful team as well, and look where they are at for the moment…..

  19. Sounds as if this is either going to come to fruition, or be embaressingly embaressing, like the brightly coloured Mastercard Lola team as seen in qualifying sessions such as Australia 1997.

    Another chapter for the ‘Unraced…’ book? I hope not.

  20. While this is in the very earily stages it is somthing us American F1 Fans would love.

  21. I’ve no doubt that they’re serious. Was there any discussion about customer chassis? I wouldn’t mind betting that they’re banking on them being allowed by then. Otherwise, they’d better get cracking now to build their 2010 car, and that means an engine deal sooner rather than later. Otherwise, I think it’s more than fluff, and while I find Windsor sometimes tedious as a journo, he’s certainly no dummy. This will happen, but don’t expect miracles.

  22. Interesting developments. I’ll be watching with interest…

  23. Martin Bell says that USF1 only consists of talk and a website. I am not one to put a damper on things but their site has crashed.

    1. If you want a positive angel, perhaps it is from an increase in traffic after the announcement.

  24. Stunt. Sorry. It’s too good to be true.

    I would love to be proved wrong but this has train wreck written all over it.

  25. I think we have more chance of seeing USF1 on the grid in 2010 than Honda in 2009.

    1. I’d disagree. Honda’s car is already there, and the MBO is already well on its way. USF1 right now has something in the region of… nothing.

  26. While it sounds to me to be a bit far fetched at this time, perhaps they know more about F1 in 2010 then anyone else besides the people making the rules do. 64 million isnt anything unless that happens to be the “salary cap” put on the teams. If that is the case, the team would have a chance to win right away. USF1-Get Kyle Busch!

    1. I would really like to see that, and Kyle coyuld always go back and race in NASCAR into old age, as Mark Martin is doing now. However, I think he would want at least one Sprint Cup Championship before he would ever bolt.

      On the flipside, any NASCAR driver working for this outfit won’t need to move, so no Michael Andretti situation this time :)

  27. I would LOVE to see this work, but let´s see ….
    I still think they need one of the two drivers to have experience in F1, at least the first season.
    I don´t know if Danika Patrick would do well in F1, but if you look her up in Google Images, she sure has the goods and is proud to show you. She can call me anytime to have dinner and discuss a sponsorship deal

  28. Keith,

    Ken Anderson of USF1 made the following statement today: “Most of the technology in F1 comes from the US to begin with …”. I have a hard time believing this. What’s your take ?

    I am sure that certain components come from the US, not sure about engines, but overall I always thought most of the really significant cutting-edge technology came from the research facilities of teams like Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and BMW. And this does not only apply to electronics obviously, but also chassis/aerodynamics, and even logistics.

    What do you think ?

    Glad to be back on this board – can’t wait for Australia.

  29. They need to generate the PR and make it look as solid as possible so they can start negotiating deals and taking on sponsors.

    They seem determined and have the skills to get the job done, so I think it will work. there’s boatloads of marketing money in America that’s untapped.

    Big sporting brands, drink brands, food brands etc etc

    Personally i think america is a larger market – brand wise – than Europe, and any company advertising in F1 – wants that global marketing, thats why they are in F1, and any company doing that scale of global marketing is also marketing in America, so I don’t see how existing sponsors would not also benefit and want it to happen.

    F1 should have a race in Canada, and 2 in America, east and west coast, then go down to Brazil.

    1. Perhaps one of the best statements (among many fantastic ones) that I have seen on this site in the year or so i’ve been coming on here. Well said Todd!!

  30. I’ll tell you, its not gonna workout that good. Especially ‘bonding with fans’ part.

    1. Perhaps, but do the current teams really gain that much by having the factory closed to the public and more top secret than many military bases around the world? I think these are some good, fresh ideas- if people from around the world come to visit the steam locomotive museum in my city, just imagine how many will come to Charlotte for a USF1 tour. It may even convince the big boys currently in the sport to be more open to fans…..

  31. If USF1 does work, I think they wouldn’t have much problem getting an engine deal. With the like of BMW ready to offer their services to boost their North American image, it could be rather interesting.

    But what about the US auto makers? I know they’re waddling in sh*t right now, but getting involved in F1, could be seen as a consumer confidence boost. Ford knows all about working in F1, GM and Chrysler have good racing pedigree with NASCAR, so it could be a possibility. Also, Windsor and Anderson are pretty hard up on selling the Made In USA tag.

    On the issue of Sponsor, I believe this could come by without much work. Many American companies have ignored F1 because it doesn’t have much of a following there,plus the fees are way to high. I was speaking to on of my former VPs a couple years ago, who worked a deal with NASCAR to sponsor car 46. It displays Texas Instrument’s DLP livery. When asked why they didn’t approach F1, his answer was, “NASCAR cost 30 mil while F1 was asking for 120 mil”. He went on to point out the disparity in audience between the two sports from an American perspective as well.

    USF1 may seem like an attractive vehicle for car manufacturers and sponsors alike

    1. Very neat perspective- it seems you have some good experience in the corporate world of motor sports!

      You are right about the sponsorship, but as for US-backed engines, Windsor pretty much ruled it out in a preview show on Sunday evening on SPEED. Perhaps it may be branded differently- a Renault unit badged as a Nissan, for example- but I still think it’s coming from outside the U.S.

  32. http://formula-one.speedtv.com/article/f1-usf1-press-conference-video-highlights/

    f1fan, motor racing is a 6 billion dollar industry for a 50 mile radius of usf1’s shop. their wind tunnel and shaker rigs are the best in the world. any decent f1 team has a satellite link from the pits to their supercomputer calculating the answer to life, the universe, and everything, in real time – with hardware and software made in america. the standard issue electronics were developed by mclaren and microsoft. carbon industries supplies half of the brakes on the grid. as for logistics, windsor claims his cars will be back at the shop before other teams make it back to england. he also points out there are fewer european races, so it’s even less relevant.

    1. If all this technology is US-made, how come there hasn’t been a single US-based team taking advantage of it ?

      And as far as Europe not being so relevant, how relevant is the US w/ its grand total of zero (0) GPs on the calendar ?

  33. Well, I was hoping for some big name sponsors or investors announced. But nothing.

    Windsor did say in his blog on the USF1 website who one of his investors is: Rich Silverstein of Goodby, Silverstein and Partners. Whom I’ve never heard of.

  34. theRoswellite
    25th February 2009, 5:52

    An American F1 team?………….be still my beating heart.

    I’ll give you dollars-to-doughnuts that Mr. Gurney could provide us all with some pretty unspun info regarding the actual chances of this child reaching a third birthday (or possible still-birth), if you could only get a totally candid comment.

    And, as Deep Throat reminded us, if you want to find the truth….”follow the money”. If these guys aren’t sitting on a big pile of it, they better know someone who is.

    I think Rick, Gman, and Martin have this right….the BMW connection would be a marriage made on Madison Avenue, if not in heaven.

    Actually, my trifecta money is on…BMW, the Internet, and Speed Channel, and if they could get anyone calling the online shots that was half as capable as Keith, they would certainly make a good show of it, at the least.

    How much would I pay to get an online site, with live streaming, 24/7, all the GPs on line, and other assorted privileges as part of a team sponsorship package?

    That is a scary one for my wife to think about.

  35. Gman,

    Maybe the US makers aren’t interested after all, may they’re too far underwater to even consider an approach to improve their image.

    I like your Nissan idea. Carlos Ghosn might go for that, since it brings Nissan into F1 as well, thus increasing the company’s overall value. Nissan has a reasonable presence in the US, and this scenario might go a long way in marketing the like of the GTR there.

    But personally, I feel that the external supply will come from BMW, since Mario Thijssen has expressed interest in improving their presence in the US.

    Did some research, found that in 60 years, only 2 US based teams have managed wins, Ford and Offenhauser. Ford is only second to Ferrari in race wins!

    1. Indeed, Nissan dose have a very good presence in the U.S.- I drive one myself :) Honestly, I have seen the brad expand tremendously here in the last 10-12 years or so, going from mostly imported compacts to a full line of American-sized products like pickup trucks, many of which are made right here in the states.

      I am sure the Detroit firms would like to be in F1, but I agree that they are essentially in survival mode at the moment. Even with those companies having motor racing divisions, an F1 engine program is going to be seen as unneeded expense, and I don’t think that’s going to do it. The only possible way I could see it would be for a foreign firm currently in F1 buying a U.S. brand and running it’s current engines under that brand.

  36. In teams, I meant to say constructors!

  37. Sunday night Windsor did also say with they MIGHT have to go with someone with more experience NOT from America for the 1st year just to help get things going in the right direction.

    It sounds to me like they would like to have 2 drivers from America, but will settle for one. I’m sure a lot of that depends on who is willing to come drive and what experience they are bringing to the table.

    For two guys that have been in F1 and other forms of auto racing for 35+ years, I’m sure they’ve seen enough on what to do and what not to do as a business. Their greatest challenge will be bringing a competitive car in a short time span. The resources are available, just need the right pieces, like drivers/engines.

    Only time will tell, Good Luck and Godspeed.

    1. I saw that same interview and like the concept, but Windsor diden’t bring it up again today during the press conference. Still, it’s a smart way to bring the team to the grid.

      Anthony Davidson, phone call for you…….

  38. Marketing………brand awareness………nissan…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Don’t any of you care about whether the car will be any good, or if it will win any races? Can I propose a new thread for 25/2/2014- “USF1, Where did it all go wrong?”

  39. Gman,

    Are you USF1’s inside personal blogging spokesperson? If not, then they should hire you! :)

    I wish your nation all the luck with their new F1 team. I’d dearly love to see an F1 grid packed out with 30 cars again, I really would.

  40. Sign me up for that factory tour, I’m already building that into my holiday schedule for 2012 !

    I dearly hope this team will come to fruitition. But lets just say I’m not betting the house on it, not yet anyway. Like Keith says, Dave Richards thought he’d be in F1 in 12 months time too….

  41. just got rid of honda dreams and now this…
    two guys on a stage doesn’t make an f1 team
    is peter windso american?

  42. Great news, Force India were feeling lonely at the back!

  43. Not wanting to sound negative – having just read the following article this morning http://www.sidepodcast.com/2009/02/25/when-did-you-lose-interest/

    I doubt this would be a serious attempt at a F1 team.

    Yes Windsor has previous experience running a F1 team, and I am sure he is not totally delluded, but they really have nothing solid in place to wow American investers in to backing the team. The way they paint the picture would that they would really struggle to break out of the back of the grid. – Yes they have the Wind Tunnel, and yes there is alot of expertese in the that part of the world, but they seem to be trying to adopt the Williams team model of going Grand Prix racing with the whole “Skunk Works” approach, however that team is stuggling for performance and sponsors despite all the experience within the team. USF1 has already ruled out partnering with a big Manufacture and having a big sugar daddy to fund the team – what they are basically saying is very underwhelming and would attrack very little sponsors to fund the programe.

    Also, lets say they do make the grid in 2010, with there policey of two american drivers, both would be extremely inexperienced and who knows if they are up to scratch, they are going to suffer poor results because of this. They won’t be able to go for a proven experienced F1 driver with an non american nationality which might add value to the team. This smacks a bit like the Red Bull driver programe which when it comes to the crunch has decided that the gimmick doesn’t bring results and the end of the day and ditches their drivers for proper talent.

    But, I am sure there will be plenty more meetings at “Starbucks” as Windsor puts in between now 2010 which could prove me wrong.

  44. The drivers are not confirmed. On one of Keiths links to the Racing Eagles blog, http://thegridwalk.typepad.com/racing_eagles/ Peter Windsor stated that it would not necessarily be 2 American drivers. If they deemed that they needed 1 experienced driver for 1 season to get the team established.

    It would not make business sense to rule out quality drivers when competing in F1.

    1. Frank Williams’ loss was Peter Sauber’s gain.

      Anything can happen.

      I’m not saying this is the best thing since sliced bread, but I sure am glad to see people are still interested in joining F1. Will it succeed? Will it fail? Who are we to pass any judgment at this point in the game. There has simply been an announcement that a new F1 team is forming and it is simply being called a bust before anyone knows all of the details. Maybe we should just let Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, BMW, and Toyota field the grid.

      It seems Bernie might actually be realizing the decline of the sport and has to get more teams involved with a different business model. For me it’s not so much about USF1 winning races or being on the podium. It’s about letting new unknown drivers enter the fray to become recognized. Alonso, Massa, Raikkonen, and Vettel all come to mind in recent years. Great drivers simply need a place to start out, and if USF1 is another backmarker/stepping-stone for drivers to get a crack at a better ride then I’m all for it.

      One other thing to note. The best racing does not always happen at the front. I’ve seen several times better racing in the back, where cars are more comparable, then the procession of cars at the front. Yes it is more exciting to see a pass for the lead, but I just like to see good, competitive auto racing.

  45. http://usf1.com/news/peters-blog-entry-for-feb-21

    This blog entry by Peter Windsor on their website says more about the finance, investors who are on board and about engineers who are likely to be involved than yesterday’s launch press conference.

    Interesting, to note that Peter Windsor says their budget targets have been exceeded…..

  46. Whew…
    This is a big undertaking, when you think of the “big” temas with 400-500 people on staff…
    However, life is for taking chances, right?
    I can tell you, as an F1 fan from the US, if things do not work out, we US fans promise not to kidnap Windsor and beat him up!
    Good luck, chaps…

  47. As Keith stated:

    “But as Prodrive discovered, there is some risk in relying on the FIA to do what it says it’s going to do…”

    A lot can happen in a year not the least of which is Spanky changing direction a couple of more times and making the sport less affordable.

    Everyone is talking up the fact that they are reducing budgets, but does anyone KNOW what it will cost the teams to race this year?

    1. this year, the sky is still the limit. for 2010 and later, i’ve seen $50M as the target.

  48. Thanks F1Yankee, we know what the goal is. But with further engine restrictions this year as well as the elimination of in season testing, has there been any feedback on how much the teams are saving this year? It should be a gauge on how much further they think they can reduce costs in 2010.

    How much have they had to invest in KERS design, research and testing?

    Williams have already reported if not for reducing costs they may not have made it this year.

  49. I wonder if Jerry Forsythe might get involved?

  50. For me, this is the best news to come out of Formula 1 for a long time. I believe this team is being founded for the right reasons, by the right people. Unlike many team principals who come and go, and don’t understand the challenge of F1 before they dive in, Peter Windsor has spent much of his life in Formula 1 and certainly knows how to avoid all the common pitfalls that would bring down the team. If their first-announced investor is a sign, they are looking for high-tech money from California as though a Silicon Valley start-up, and I think this would be a smart strategy in line with the 21st century business world.

    I’m also pleased that much of the buzz has actually been positive, and racing-oriented, e.g. speculation about drivers. This shows that fans are actually excited, and what can be a better way to convince investors that this is really something with great potential? Finally, I think it is very convenient that Peter Windsor is involved in USF1, because he is already familiar to every F1 fan in America (since he contributes to each broadcast on SPEED Channel), a trusted name, so to speak.

    Yes, it’s going to be challenging, but for once I think it’s being handled by competent and passionate people not motivated by factors aside from wanting to go racing and trying out a new approach to things.

  51. Anybody heard any more news about USF1. It appears that since the initial Peter Windsor announcement 2 months ago, the people and website behind this potential new team have gone into ‘hiding’. Why so! Many are keen to know what’s going on and how far along their plans are? Has this venture fallen flat?

  52. Well, I’m from Mexico City and whenever I visit I use tap water to rinse my mouth guard and brush my teeth and nothing’s ever happened to me nor anyone I know.

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