Windsor: America “more industrious”

USF1 sporting director Peter Windsor has voiced his objection to F1’s factory shut-down which will take place for the second time this year.

Writing on the USF1 website he said:

There was an F1 team meeting vote in the early fall about whether the 2009 F1 August shut-down had been a “success”. I was impressed to hear the McLaren guys say that it was a waste of time and that most of their staff had found it all very frustrating, but sadly these were lone voices: the majority of the teams, led by Red Bull, it seemed to me, are firmly committed to the summer shut-down. And so shut down we will.
Peter Windsor

Every F1 team will have to shut down their factories for a two-week period in August as part of efforts to reduce costs in F1.

But Windsor even thinks the time lost to winter’s seasonal festivities is too costly:

America is currently much more industrious than the UK. Here, at our home base, we were quiet on Christmas Day (naturally) and then again today [new year's day]. The UK ?ǣ and most of Europe ?ǣ basically shut down on December 18 and will not stagger back to life until January 4. That’s 16 valuable days lost in the too-short life of the F1 European winter.
Peter Windsor

This all comes back to the question of whether USF1’s plans to base its team in America are viable. Windsor certainly doesn’t seem to have any doubts.

Read Windsor’s thoughts in full here: Blog: Peter Windsor’s world

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29 comments on Windsor: America “more industrious”

  1. Invoke said on 3rd January 2010, 10:46

    So this is Windsor trying to scare the other teams by saying America works harder than Europe? If they don’t produce a good car after working ‘harder & longer’ than all the other teams, then USF1 will look mightily stupid!

    • av-rated said on 4th January 2010, 20:02

      No….it’s just a natural born Brit offering HIS observations in the context of the apparent criticism re the viabilty of a US based F1 program.

      Let’s face it, any thinking man (or woman) expects USF1 to struggle mightily…they’re a new team for crying out loud…and I take his comments as speaking to the fact they (USF1) NEED as much time as possible to get ready and he’s thankful the U.S. has a slightly different approach to working through the holidays (but trust me, we’re not THAT much different…I have chosen to work only three days these last two weeks).

      It seems far too many here seem to get their nationalist panties in a bunch over comments like these and need to grow up and quit being so defensive.

  2. Steffen said on 3rd January 2010, 11:39

    Just read through the complete blog entry over at usgpe.com. Either that bloke hasn’t got the slightest clue how a F1 team operates (things have changed a bit in the last 20 or so years since he last worked for a team) or he’s just drumming up the PR machine in order to trying to keep the “house of cards” alive for as long as possible (to find a buyer for the franchise?).
    Either way, reading Peter’s comments, I’m more and more convinced that we won’t see USGPE in Bahrain.

    • ? what a crock.

      I understand what he is saying that in the US the world doesn’t come to a grinding halt days before Christmas till after the new year, and rather than reduce cost by closing the factory mid season, its;s more of a hindrance.
      Now how that means there wont be usf1 team on the grid is well….beyond me.

      The mid year shut down is just plain stupid, it is worthless apart from making me wait a month between races. Name me another sport that goes into pseudo hibernation mid season for a month?
      Or for that mater what business is forced to close up shop apart from public holidays and even then that law is being over run in the name of ‘jobs’ and ‘profit’.

      Now that there is almost zero in season testing there is really no point to the shut down, remembering when the idea was floated there was extensive testing going on, Thus meaning there was small to no rest for some driver…now adays f1 drivers only drive for a few hours 3days a week every twice a month. Tell me they need a break?
      Apart from normal work holidays(4-5weeks out of 52weeks) for normal employees how does that interfere with the off season holiday period?
      Now add to this the so called ‘cost cutting’ mantra work?
      Consider that the factory closes for set amount of time…nothing is being made but the bills keep coming….power…rent…salaries..phone etc, now after the wasted time of no activities how does one make up for lost time…I’ll tell you the factory now goes into overdrive, overtime longer hours and hurried development and construction.
      While I doubt there would be any problems with safety the issue is the components will be made still but in less time regardless of the shut down rendering the close down cost cutting useless.
      The only thing it does is stress the the guys in the factory to perform and work massive hours to make up for the time lost, the drivers dont give a toss because as I said they dont get a chance to sit in the car that often anyways.

      Now please tell me why this is a good idea for 1 and 2 how does this mean no usf1????!!!!

      hmmmm.

  3. Macca said on 3rd January 2010, 11:50

    I don’t know why this team has so many knockers. To this point it has done nothing but right things. Mark my words, we will see this team on the grid in Bahrain, and not just at the back either.

    • Mark Hitchcock said on 3rd January 2010, 13:11

      Personally I don’t like them because of the “America is better than the rest of the world” rubbish that is starting to seep through.
      At first USF1 was a cute idea but more and more it’s living up to the ugly stereotype that Americans think they always know best.

      Of all the teams you’d think a start-up like USF1 would want to save money wherever they can so the factory shutdown is a good thing for them.
      Maybe FOTA should let them waste all their money so they can drop off the grid a bit quicker.

      • Sush Meerkat said on 3rd January 2010, 13:22

        Its turning into a National Sport, A1GP was ahead of the curve I guess!.

        German GP in Mercedes, UK GP with McLaren.
        Even Ferrari are now the Latino team.

      • R.E.M. said on 3rd January 2010, 16:22

        Them? It’s just Windsor’s hot air again. It’s hard to judge a whole team, much less a country, on one guy who isn’t even American.

        • Mark Hitchcock said on 3rd January 2010, 18:54

          uh, I was replying to Macca’s question about why people don’t like USF1 and my reason is the nationalism.

          I wasn’t judging the country at all..
          I said it was a stereotype that Americans think they always know best. I didn’t say I agree with it.

        • and Ferrari wasnt or isn’t Italian due to a Alonso, Schumi, Todt, Brawn, Massa….
          Do you see where I am going?

          Pull your head in.

      • his_majesty said on 4th January 2010, 2:31

        Don’t count peter as an american. I believe the uk has created that beast! Don’t look at usf1 as america as well, not until they start winning that is! otherwise they are a great shame if the rumors are true of not being ready.

    • I agree with you Macca.

  4. wasiF1 said on 3rd January 2010, 12:35

    I think the two weeks shut down was discussed by FOTA in order to reduce cost of F1.

  5. James_mc said on 3rd January 2010, 13:07

    I thought the 2 weeks was so that team members could visit their family?

    Also I generally think that Americans do work more hours than Europeans, so these comments don’t really come as a surprise to me.

    • Monad said on 5th January 2010, 4:11

      I don’t know if Europeans work less than Americans during the holidays but if they do then it’s not enough and Americans should cut some of there work also. It’s sick how we live in 2009 and we all work like dogs having so little time to do anything else. If you also have a family and other responsibilities is amazingly hard to find some time for rest and fun. And people deserve there relaxing time.
      When people lived in the caves they went for hunting only 30% of the days of the year. Now we have lot’s of luxuries but we work 90% of the days of the year and can’t even enjoy them.

      • DamionShadows said on 5th January 2010, 23:04

        It’s one thing if you’re forced to work too much, but it’s another when you actually like what you’re doing. I doubt anyone involved in F1 that is any good goes around complaining how hard they work. I would think it’s expected that you have to slave over the car, getting every detail right, because i’ll bet winning a championship is all worth it.

  6. christopher (sennaboy3) said on 3rd January 2010, 13:32

    Windsor is not an American, so please disregard his comments as those of some arrogant one who thinks “America is better than the rest of the world”…As an American & a F1 fan, I’m looking forward to the teams progress, think they have the right people to pursue the dream, although where is the driver announcement?

    • R.E.M. said on 3rd January 2010, 16:20

      Argentine Press (as have as Lopez) has said USF1 will launch January 25th.

    • DamionShadows said on 3rd January 2010, 18:01

      Yes, I never have understood why he was so adamant to come to the US and start an F1 team anyways. Being an American myself, I hope they do good and don’t become a laughing stock, because that would probably end any hope of F1 fully returning here.

      • HounslowBusGarage said on 3rd January 2010, 19:50

        Absolutely right. F1 needs the US on-side.
        I’m a Brit, not an American, but I really hope that despite dull-witted statements like this, there is some success for USF1 in 2010. Maybe just a point or two, to encourage them and their sponsors enough for 2011.
        The last thing that the world of F1 needs is North America feeling that somehow all the other teams have ganged-up against them and that F1 is a closed book to the New World. It was bad enough after the Michael Andretti fiasco when a large number of US race fans were convinced that MacLaren had given Michael inferior or deliberately sabotaged cars in order to humiliate Americans.

    • explosiva said on 4th January 2010, 20:22

      The only thing Americans are “more industrious” at is expanding the waistline.

      Yes, I am an American.

  7. Bigbadderboom said on 3rd January 2010, 14:29

    Sounds like a very naive statement from windsor, he needs to get his own opinions of F1 up to date. Some europeans do have a traditional break in August, and much production shuts down, bus as so much actual production and development is UK based which does not have this traditional break, his views seem irrelevant. The two week break was introduced so teams can not only save money but concentrate their human resources by enabling better time management through staff having their hiliday at the same time.
    As for being critical of people spending the christmas holiday period with their families, while the “Industrious americans” finish their factory…………..Bah Humbug Mr Windsor, get a grip cause you sound like your loosing it.

  8. Bernard said on 3rd January 2010, 15:04

    Mr Windsor, your generalisms hold no water. Most organisations don’t close at all over the holiday.

    Your work is judged by the product of said work, not the time spent producing it.

  9. Dougal said on 3rd January 2010, 16:27

    “The UK – and most of Europe – basically shut down on December 18 and will not stagger back to life until January 4.”

    Exactly which parts of the UK Mr Windsor? Like yourself, I had Christmas Day and New Years Day off, but worked as normal for the rest of it. I was starting to like Windsor for his honesty and no-nonsense approach, so I hope he doesn’t spend 2010 coming up with more pro-America arrogance about how they are better – the exact thing even he has accused Europe of in the F1 world.

  10. On the surface of it, it sounds like a good idea to shut down the factories. The people of the race team get to see their families, as do the people who work at the factory all the time.

    The reality might be, that it is a waste of time and very frustrating for the employees as McLaren seem to think. If this truly is the case, then I do not see why they would keep doing it.

    Especially as the calender keeps getting bigger i think this seems like a good idea to make sure everyone takes some time off from time to time, and a fine step in keeping costs low.

  11. Everyone who thinks that Windsor’s statements are arrogent/mean/negative need to take a deep breath and relax a bit. To me, all he is saying is that, for his operation and they way they want to work, it is easier being based in America than Europe. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

    From my view, it is just like saying that some people prefer the way that children are educated in Europe- where the three-month summer break dosen’t happen- than in America. Again, nothing wrong with that. It is just a different way of operating.

    Just look at Boeing vs. Airbus- proof that good products cna be produced on either side of the Atlantic divide. Both places work, and I am sure that will be the case here as well.

  12. John H said on 3rd January 2010, 20:04

    America…. *@£# Yeah!

    The UK – and most of Europe – basically shut down on December 18 and will not stagger back to life until January 4. That’s 16 valuable days lost in the too-short life of the F1 European winter.

    That’s right, Adrian Newey et al literally shut down their brains, and then fire them up again on the 4th of January… LOL!

  13. Although it is nice to have a villan in sports, actually Windsor is correct: the US is more productive than the UK.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:OECD_Productivity_levels_2007.svg

    That doesn’t mean much, though.

    If this is his main concern, maybe he should have created LuxembourgF1. ;)

  14. I don’t know how ANYBODY can take Windsor serious after the comments he made about how Kyle Bush or Danica Patrick could come into F1 and become champion in a couple of years! I am from the US and was looking forward to USF1 but after Windsor’s asinine comments I could care less if they are on the grid in Bahrain.

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