Jose Maria Lopez: out of single-seaters for three years but set for USF1 drive

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jose Maria Lopez was dropped from Renault's driver scheme in 2006
Jose Maria Lopez was dropped from Renault's driver scheme in 2006

Anyone who saw Lewis Hamilton win the 2006 GP2 championship may remember Jose Maria Lopez, who finished tenth in the championship that year.

Despite not having raced single-seater cars since then, Lopez is now a front runner for a drive at the new USF1 team, whose headquarters he visited on Friday.

He has almost all the money in place to pay for a drive – but has he got enough experience and potential to deserve one?

Lopez’s two GP2 seasons were something of a let-down after the form he showed earlier in his careeer.

The Argentine driver came to Europe in 2001 and won the Italian Formula Renault championship the following year – beating Robert Kubica with 205 points to 188. He moved up to Formula Renault V6 in 2003 and won that title, narrowly beating Neel Jani.

Lopez was part of the Renault Driver Development programme which helped bring drivers such as Heikki Kovalainen to F1. He had a series of tests for the team in 2004 (when he also tested for Minardi) and 2006.

An obvious candidate for the new GP2 championship in 2005, Lopez joined the DAMS team and won the fourth ever race of the series, in Spain.

His results throughout the season were patchy and he ended the year ninth. But he comfortably beat team mate Fairuz Fauzy, who failed to score all year and is now tipped for a test driver role at Lotus.

A switch to Super Nova for 2006 brought no improvement – Lopez scored inconsistently and spun off while leading in the rain at the Hungaroring. Renault dropped him from their development programme.

Since then Lopez has competed in Argentina’s popular touring car championship, winning the title last year. He also did a few races in the FIA GT championship.

Under the circumstances you have to wonder if Lopez has been out of top-level motor racing too long to jump straight up into F1. But, as ever, money talks.

To his credit, he clearly has plenty of experience of several F1 tracks. And we should be wary of using how a driver faired in GP2 to predict what he’ll do in F1: Kamui Kobayashi finished 16th in the last two GP2 championships but has impressed since reaching F1.

Meanwhile Romain Grosjean, who won four races in the same period, is yet to distinguish himself in F1.

And if Lopez does get an F1 driver, maybe one day we can have a race at the awesome Potrero de los Funes

Do you think Lopez deserves a shot at F1 in 2010? Have your say in the comments.

Jose Maria Lopez pictures

Read more: 2010 F1 drivers and teams

63 comments on “Jose Maria Lopez: out of single-seaters for three years but set for USF1 drive”

  1. Prisoner Monkeys
    22nd November 2009, 10:45

    There is, I do believe, a political context to all of this. It’s something I would have explored in a guest article, but the meat of it would have refelcted this particular piece, so there isn’t much point to it.

    Anyway, back before the British Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone was looking to revive the Argentine Grand Prix, with help from the Argentine government. I know everyone would love to see Formula 1 at the Potrero de los Funes circuit, but this isn’t a possibility: San Luis, where the circuit is built, falls into a region under the control of the national opposition, and the incumbent Argentine government would be unlikely to support an event there. And so Ecclestone was talking about a street circuit in Mar del Plata on the Atlantic coast. This is not a bad thing; a quick check on Google Earth reveals dramatic coastal roads that are simply begging for a Formula 1 circuit. And Mar del Plata was the home of the original Argentine Grands Prix.

    But Buenos Aries decided it didn’t want a race. Not yet. Instead, they decided that Argentina had to be represented in Formula 1 by way of a driver, and José María “Pechito” López was seen as the man for the job. He was apparently introduced to Peter Windsor by – at the very least, he is certainly connectd to – on Carlos Reutemann, arguably Argentina’s second most successful Formula 1 driver after the Old Master himself. The point is that Lopez is getting support from government groups; I believe some of his support comes from Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF), who have connections to Repsol.

    I sense the Hand of Ecclestone directing thing here once more. If they get a driver onto the world stage, the Argentins may be amendable to having a race. Argentina gets their driver, Ecclestone gets to expand his calendar, Formula 1 gets represented by another country and USF1 get a driver who can help them establish themselves. Taking two American drivers in their first year could be suicide, but López is somewhat disposable. If he doesn’t perform, USF1 don’t lose anything – it’s better that the American drivers meet and established American team than an inexperienced one. If he does perform, they can keep him and take on one American driver.

    And if it means we get to go to San Luis in the future – ie if Argentina goes to the polls and the incumbent party wins the seat in San Luis – then how is José María López a bad thing? The worst-case scenario is that we need some badly-needed accident-prone comedy in an era of hyper-reliability …

    1. Fascinating insight PM thanks for that.

      1. I lived 3 years in Argentina, PM, thanks for this comment taking me again to the end of 90s and earlier 2000s.

        Argentina is a great country full of potential, but IMHO Argentina have some problems for transforming potential into success:

        1) Population: Just few 40 Million people spread over 2,8 Millions Km2 and 15 Millions concentrated in Buenos Aires. Internal market underdeveloped and quite a lot geographically isolated from the rest of the world.

        2) Individuality: Argentinians are great people, I still have some good friends there, but they are incapable of doing things together. Individuals are much more important than community, making impossible improve things. The concept of nation is hardly the national football team.

        Argentina is plenty of incredible places in which built amazing tracks, (One could make a GP on a 300Km straight (and flat) road long from General Acha to 25 de Mayo (The dessert route).

        Anyway, I’m afraid it will take a while to see an Argentinian GP…

        Repsol bought YPF to the Argentinian Government more than ten years ago. Now, Repsol is thinking to return them back after many years of breaches and billions of expenditure.

        1. true…

          i as an Argentinean feel the country is going no where… corruption is the way to go, and there’s nothing planned to improve the situation (not even in the long term)

          i’ve had a talk with my mates the other day and all feel the way to go i moving away from here… that’s what young people think after all…

          And we sold YPF at a price similar to a candy bar… :) how clever…

      2. Jose Maria Lopez is a good driver, he has shown that he can drive fast, win races and win championships…Argentina is not Europe but excellent drivers come out with small budgets and accomplish big things but never reach the big circus because of the lack of funds. Now is different and for all of the F1 fans Lopes used to test the Renault for Fernando Alonso and in 90% of the races Alonso drove the car with Lopes set up…that is why USF1 is open to the option of Lopez driving besides the lack of US born drivers with real driving skills other than flat out racing with left turns only. The only thing Lopes needs to do is to learn to control his temper to avoid crashes other than that he can drive as fast as any F1 driver today, if any doubts still there ask Robert Kubica, Alonso or any other competitor that Lopez had run with or against and they will agree that he is up to it. Good luck to both Lopes and USF1

    2. …a quick check on Google Earth reveals dramatic coastal roads that are simply begging for a Formula 1 circuit.

      Don’t worry, I’m sure Tilke could find some billiard-table smooth, runway-width streets with some nice, soothing constant radius corners. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past few years, it’s that F1’s management cannot fail at sucking every last bit of soul out of any location, no matter how dramatic the backdrop.

  2. to simply answer the question: no.

    the money of an ageing rookie won’t help a new team as much as the experience of a (fromer) F1 driver would.

    he is not in the original context of USF1, he is neither a young American talent, nor an experienced driver. but he has got the money. what’s this, back in the ninetees, to the era of Lavaggi’s and other paydrivers?

    1. technically he is american, well, south american.
      USA isn’t America :@

      1. Anywhere from the top of Alaska to Cape Horn is America. So the USA is in America, and I’m sure when USF1 said they wanted American drivers, they probably meant US drivers, because to most of the world, including the USA, ‘America’ is synonymous with the United States of America, even though, yes, Argentina is in the Americas.

        Either way, it’s good to see that they have chosen a driver from somewhere in ‘the Americas’, but whether he is up to the job, I’m not so sure.

  3. One thing is for sure: Next year will see the return of the classic pay-driver, who has only been absent from F1 for the last two years. With all the new teams coming in, we are saying goodbye to the ultra-competitive grid of 2009. We’ll see next year if this is a good or bad thing.

    About Lopez: I didn’t follow GP2 back then, but judging by his results he seems good enough not to totally embarass himself. But I’m more worried about USF1. I just hope for them that he isn’t meant to be their “experienced” driver, just because he has some F1 mileage.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      22nd November 2009, 11:19

      Xanathos, the difference between now and the Age of the Pay Driver is that anyone who makes it into Formula 1 has to have a modicum of talent. The strict rules for being granted a superlicence mean that they’d likely hve to come through the ranks of GP2 and Formula 3. Even the likes of Nelson Piquet, Romain Grosjean and Jaime Alguersuari were competing in lower-tier formulae before they got called up to the big leagues. And some of them – I’m thiking of Piquet in particular here – actually did pretty well for themselves.

      If he makes it to the grid, José María López will not be in the vein of Jean-Denis Délétraz …

      1. Of course we won’t see anyone buying himself into a seat just to have some fun. But Lopez didn’t exactly get the seat because of his racing CV.

  4. Lets give him a chance. He might well get some good results.

  5. I’ve copy and pasted what I wrote on the forum yesterday. I’m not that lazy, it’s just my views haven’t changed since then:

    Manor sign Glock
    Campos sign Senna
    Lotus sign Trulli (probably)
    USF1 sign… a paydriver??

    I think it’s safe to say that of the new teams, USF1 are the most likely to collapse. We hear so little from them that I can’t help but be a bit sceptical of their credentials.

    Also, I wonder whether that guy from YouTube genuinely intends to invest in the team, or was he just using it as a publicity stunt (not that YouTube doesn’t already have enough publicity!)

    1. Senna allegedly brought money to the table for his Campos deal. There’s no shame in that. One M. Schumacher made his F1 debut with $300,000 from Merceds-Benz, too.

      1. Yeah, Senna has very strong backing from Embratel, which is subsidiary of Telmex, which is owned by none other than Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in the world. He was previously linked to buying out Honda last year.

        As one of the biggest telecoms companies in the world, it will be in Telmex’s best interest to market their brand. Especially with their strong presence in Central and South America, who else better than a Senna to use as your poster boy?

        The only difference here is that, Senna has talent, this Jose Maria Lopez fella hasn’t driven a single seater in three years!!! He’s getting an F1 drive? Hey, Nigel Mansell might be interested in an F1 return, I guess if he can cough up enough money…he may be in the second USF1 seat!

    2. “That guy from YouTube” is a founder who’s no longer connected with the site. YouTube is only connected to USF1 in the minds of lazy journalists (and credulous form posters).

      1. He is still connected to Youtube, he is the CEO. He just doesn’t own the company any more…

    3. Isn’t Campos about to sign a pay-driver as well? Isn’t it a bidding war between Pastor and Petrov on who can bring the most sponsor money?

      1. I’m so wanting Pastor in that seat, never have seen a venezuelan driver in F1

        1. You are of short memory, although you could have mist him: most recently, Venezuelan Ernesto José Viso Lossada, E.J. for short, did the Brazil practice session for Midland in 2006.

          In 1960, Ettore Muro Chimeri competed in the Argentine Grand Prix, while Alberto ‘Johnny’ Cecotto, 1975 Motorcycle racing champion in the 350cc class, did 18 F1 races in 1983-84 for Theodore and Toleman.

  6. F1 should have the best drivers in the world. I doubt that JML belongs to this circle.

  7. I dont see Lopez being an inspiring driving like Koboyashi has been. He’ll be at USF1 for a season or two and then fizzile away into some weak American series of racing. Harsh? Probably.

  8. Are they mad there @ USF1……..
    No credentials at all if you ask me.
    We’ll see…..I don’t think he’ll be part of the F1 circus in 2010.

  9. Im so glad he’s leaving the country for F1, so the world will know how idiot the guy is…

    he is erratic, fast but idiotic. He always tries to overtake the wrong way, and he has been very annoying since he got back from Europe.

    So Pechito Lopez, go to hell! :D Im so glad international press are rubbishing him :D

    1. Hey Fer..are you JM Silva or fan of him?
      Lopez beat anyone in Argentina since he came back and is clearly the fastest guy there. Having the chance to win 3 different titles at the last race of the same year…is something, no?

  10. Windsor was saying, 3 months ago, that he wouldn’t choose a pay driver but one of the many good U.S.American drivers according to the convictions of the team:
    More specifically, in August, Windsor told “Sports Illustrated” magazine:

    “We’ve been offered well over three-quarters of our racing budget by two drivers already, neither of whom have raced in Formula One but both have won races in GP2. Both of them have massive sponsorship they can bring us from their home country. Ken Anderson and I have got to be very strong, look one another in the eye and say, ‘No, we’re not going to accept that money, we’re not going to hire those guys because we’re going to remain true to our convictions’.
    ‘There are very good American drivers out there’, he added.
    To be honest, shame on Formula One and shame on American motorsport that some of these great young Americans with single-seater talent have not been nurtured more and given more opportunity.

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    What happened to their convictions, to the very good U.S.American drivers and to the shame on F1???
    Shame on you USF1!!!

    http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_news_item.php?fes_art_id=39593

    1. Agreed. It sounds to me like Peter ‘great manipulative driver’ Windsor is talking abou Lopez…

      USF1 talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk

    2. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
      22nd November 2009, 22:46

      Windsor won’t find a really good american F1 driver.
      He’s a bit of a fool at times.

      He said in either F1 racing or autosport (i can’t remember which) that he wouldn’t hire Danica Patrick because she’s to big of a star. Does this mean he wouldn’t hire vettel or schumacher or hamilton if he had the chance.

      I wouldn’t hire patrick either, but because she’s nowhere near good enough, she only has one indy car win, hardly star quality. Bourdais won 4 champ car titles in a row and look at what he did in F1.

      I think it will be very hard for him to find a good american driver.

      1. The difference between Danica and Schumi/Vettel/Hmilton is that those 3 guys are TALENTED DRIVERS and not just primma donnas out looking to make money and look nice. If USF1 (

        1. To finish the thought……

          If USF1 (or any team) brought Patrick in for a race seat, they would make fools out of themselves, because she’s all talk and looks, with no skills.

          As for your bias towards American drivers, well I won’t rant on, but attitudes such as the one you have on display are the only thing preventing Americans from being successful. If you tak a look over on the MotoGP side of things, not only are talented Americans competing and winning, but the sport really values their presence and that of the Americna fanbase.

          1. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
            23rd November 2009, 22:45

            Don’t mean to be slamming american drivers, just saying that the last few to come from america haven’t been great such as scott speed. Why can’t they compete in GP2 like everyone else who wants to make it to F1, then they could show how they relate to everyone else, making it easier to judge their talent. Maybe GP2 needs to be more global.

  11. Ah well, give him a chance and we’ll see. You never know.

  12. check out youtube.com, usf1 clip

    then check youtube.com usf1 day 1, 2, 3, 4

    this is the truth.

    Thank you for reading, and make sure to check this.

  13. Oh man….This whole USF1 thing is turning into a big train wreck. I was so pumped at the idea when it was first introduced. Now it is getting to be an embarrasment. They don’t have to dominate the airwaves with publicity, but something a little more substantive than a “rendering” of what the car will look like and now the introduction of JM Lopez. I mean…who? No good can come of this.

  14. I’ll wait til’ Bahrain to judge this. That’s what everyone else should do. Oh right, it’s an American team, I forgot!!! [/Sarcasm]

  15. This guy may apparently have the finances raised to race but I can’t help but wonder that USF1 may be squandering vast amounts of developmental resources and a tremendous opportunity by not getting more experienced preferably F1 drivers of which there are currently several unemployed…

  16. the sad truth is that they stole the spot in 2010ch, and dont forget that manor is making car -without- wind tunel.
    Campos will drive at the end, if he find the money to drive more than 2 GP…

    sad but truth, bad choice by fia

    usf1 sucks…

    1. dont forget that manor is making car -without- wind tunel

      Wirth Engineering designed the ALMS LMP2 Acura without a wind tunnel.
      They must be using the same simulation technology for that too.

      Back on topic, I’m not sure about this Lopez. There are so many deserving drivers, I guess it will eventually return to pay drivers as the grid gets bigger.

  17. I’m of the same mind when they mooted the idea way back when. The USF1 is a disaster in the making. This isn’t the Titanic, since they are one of the minnow teams, but it’s still got all of the components of an epic fail

    rmac923, sure there probably is some built-in bias against a US team, and there will be some shadenfreude at their failure, but at the end of the day they came out promising unicorns and rainbows and are delivering nothing like the dream they promised.

    As we watch they are making all the wrong noises and this latest is just another stone on the pile. I was going to post the quote from Pitpass that UnicornF1 (like that) posted because I remembered what Windsor said back then. It all has shades of BAR to it, with Craig Pollack promising to be the best new flavour of ice-cream. Look hiw that turned out.

    Storm clouds seem to be gathering over USF1 and it matters not what country they are in.

  18. I’m starting to think that USF1 team isn’t even going to be racing in F1.

    But if they do, they’ll need better drivers than Maria – He’ll be (that word we aren’t allowed to use)

  19. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
    22nd November 2009, 22:25

    What a joke. I think USF1 have lost all credibility. Its an insult to other drivers who deserve a race seat before him and I could probably think of at least 20.

    I’m an adam carroll fan and I can’t believe the fact that after wining the A1 gp championship single handed there hasn’t been any news of him getting a seat.

    1. Well, that’s one of the upsides to Tony Teixeira possibly buying into Campos: seen as how he wants to “bring A1 into F1”, he would be mad to not give the A1 Champion a seat.

  20. Just a follow-up. The longer this USF1 deal continues the more sad I am to have been excited about an F1 team with a base in the US. I would like to point out though that Peter Windsor is not American. Its 50% his company. OK Anderson is American. Boy, it surely doesn’t take much for you guys to get ugly about the US. Geez. Oh and if I recall, I don’t think Nick Wirth’s last foray into F1 was that glowing either. Anyhow, if USF1 is going to produce anything they are going to have to soon. Otherwise they need to sell their spot and move on.

  21. I’m willing to give both USF1 and Lopez the benefit of the doubt. The main question mark over Lopez so far is that he may not be eligible for a superlicence – just being a race winner in GP2 is not necessarily enough, he may have to get some serious testing under his belt as well.

    As for USF1, I’ve seen nothing to suggest that they are any less prepared for F1 than any of the other new teams. Just because they don’t have a big name driver on their books (yet) doesn’t mean they’re going to be an out-and-out failure. Let’s wait and see.

    1. The best comment on here to date- at least someone is being a bit sensable. Indeed, I was suprised about Lopez getitng a seat, and thought ehre were many other better options for the team. But perhaps they know something we don’t.

      1. This is true. Yes, we’ve seen nothing from USF1 past a few interviews and some photos of the facilities, but all we’ve seen of Lotus is a photo of a very basic car done by an aero company, and some basic and predicable interviews with Mike Gasgoyne.

        I’ve heard or seen next to nothing from Manor other than the possibly Virginisation of the operation, and even less from Campos Meta aside from hiring Senna Jr.

        So currently I’m looking at all four glasses half full, and am very much looking forward to hearing more from all of them, their progress, driver choices, and then onto Bahrain.

  22. The Sri Lankan
    23rd November 2009, 0:43

    people here say that he’ll be sh*it but didnt we say the same about Kamui Kobayashi? on paper Nakajima handed Kobayashi his a*s in GP 2 but Kamui is now the lead Jap driver in F1( if he gets a drive) i think Lopez could do the same

  23. He have a lot of experience in single seater so he deserve the seat,& I agree it may put Potrero de los Fune on the calender.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      23rd November 2009, 1:16

      Like I said: it’s unlikely. Porero de los Funes is in need of some upgrades to qualify for Category-1 status, but the bigger problem is that the circuit is in a region controlled by the national opposition. The government in Buenos Aries is unlikely to provide support for the event in that region; the only way it will happen is if they win that seat in an election, or if Lopez’s presence can prmpt private groups into hosting an event (but the government has made it clear they’ll support a race, so it’s likely a privately-backed effort would be in a region whose seat is held by the incumbent party).

  24. USF1 could hire Schumy himself and it wouldn’t matter. After all, it’s about the quality of the car and the experience of the team. And the biggest unknown of all is Cosworth’s engine.

    How well will USF1 compete against the other new teams is the real question. Someone will come home last and it could be any of the newbies.

    The second driver needs to be a racer who competed in F1 last year, even if they have to pay him. Hell, I’d even accept Jarno Trulli if they could capture him on the cheap.

  25. Peter recently said in an interview that since their preferred option of an american drivers was out, they where looking for at least one driver that had a good bit of open wheel experience, but wasn’t “set” in how a team should operate or they should be handled. someone experienced, but not set in their ways. I think this may be a fit for that. Let’s wee who the other drive is.

    I also think that since USF1 is contracting out so much of their manufacturing (an advantage to being in Charlotte sine none of you vendors have other F1 clients so you can do that) they are getting a bad rap for not being up to speed as compared to the other new teams.

  26. Personally I’d like to see a Trulli or Heidfeld at USF1, but I doubt it really matters because their car will have to work its way up to speed just like the other new teams, so whoever is driving will be at the back of the pack or maybe slightly better. As long as this guy doesn’t wreck half the cars then I think he’ll be okay for the first year.

  27. Well, this was not the signing I was expecting for USF1, but it is interesting in any event.

    Perhaps Windsor/Anderson have found a diamond in the rough- heck, if the guys dose well for them and gose on to another F1 team, I can’t think of any better PR for the outfit. But I can’t help be a bit skeptical about his experience- heck, Pantano would have been a much better option in my book. Three seasons is a long time to be out of a car, esp. with the change in designs and specs that have taken place since then.

    For me, the time when USF1 will be a credible operation or not is when we hear if they have a driver development scheme set up to nurture some combination of Alex Rossi, Jon Summerton, John Edwards, Jake Rosenzweig, JR Hildebrand, and whoever else is a promising young driver over here. If there is some support for those guys to run in GP2 or F3 (Rossi has done some GP2 Asia races with impressive results this year) then it will be a real step for the future.

  28. Wow, I really didn’t see that one coming!

    USF1 were just starting to look like a serious F1 team with serious aspirations. I had assumed, as most people had, that USF1 would sign a talented young American driver, and an EXPERIENCED european F1 driver, not someone with very little experience who frankly doesn’t deserve the seat.

    I guess its going to be good “Go team USA” marketing if JML doesn’t perform as well as his American team mate (We sure did show those pesky euros how to drive in their own back yard etc. etc. etc.).

  29. I’m just trying to imagine how many people on this site would have been happy and said things like “finally” and “totally deserving” if Paul Di Resta or Gary Paffett would have gotten the seat at USF1, two drivers who have been out of single seaters even longer than Lopez and are fooling around in a national touring car championship (like Lopez)…

    1. good point actually…

      But both Paul and Gary has been a bit more impressive than Lopez, plus better sponsors and more money…

  30. It’s all about the cash. They need a guy that can help them build and tweak their car and Lopez brings along some sponsors. What’s the problem??? They aren’t expected to be a contender anytime soon and you have to start somewhere.
    Plain and simple…everyone except Button lost this season. Sure – I’d love to see them bring in Schumi but we need to be realistic. And let’s not dump on the team for being interested Lopez – let’s give him a shot. I trust that the guys in charge are doing their best and I do think that someday the team will consist of 2 American drivers. I love the debate but let’s take a deep breath and relax.

  31. Ha-hem. I feel a rant coming on.

    USF1 was founded by at least one shameless opportunist and that opportunist is Windsor. He has an excellent reality distortion field and a lot of people are being sucked into it. Just look at the way he has adopted an American management pattern of speech – he’s an Australian, just like me. Ding ding ding. Can anyone see the deliberate mistake here? Ever since he announced it, my Aussie-talking-rubbish-meter has been off the scale.

    There are too many compromises suddenly surfacing in his story and in the USF1 story and signing Lopez is just painful. I don’t have an issue with pay drivers (although I think mentioning the Senna/Schumacher pay drives is a little disingenuous – they’re hardly in Lavaggi’s and co.’s league as they both had real success behind them) but I draw the line at touring car stars.

    Lopez would complete seventeen laps of any given track before we got out of the pits, I’m sure, but he doesn’t strike me as F1 talent and if he has so much money and talent, why is he faffing about running around in Honda Civics? At least an international category would be believable.

    USF1 stinks and it’s a crime that Windsor and co. are probably going to make a massive mess of this and completely nail F1’s US coffin shut.

    I would love to be proven wrong and will run Silverstone naked if you lot will fund my ticket there. Okay, mostly naked. Okay, I’m really unfit, so if I ran it at all, it would be worth seeing my puke by Abbey…

  32. I would place experience and a young talent. In this case I would place Bourdais which represents american open wheel and a either Graham Rahal, Hildebrand, Edwards.

  33. I wanted so badly for the team to sign Takuma Sato. He’s out there. He’s fast. He’s experienced. He’s desperate to drive F1. HE HAS PERSONAL SPONSORS WITH MONEY!

    I just wanted to get that off my chest… Anyways…

    I don’t think Lopez should be looked down upon because he’s a pay driver. Peter Windsor made a good point that technically Alonso is a pay driver because a large part of Ferrari’s decision was the new Spanish bank sponsor. But while his resume is acceptable and he has knowledge of European tracks, where’s the Grand Prix racing experience?

    I hope the second driver isn’t this British rookie I’ve been hearing about. I certainly hope it’s a veteran driver like, say…

    Takuma Sato!!!

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