Behind the scenes at USF1 (Video parts 1&2)

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

While some people have raised doubts over whether USF1 will come good on their goal to make it to the F1 grid in 2010, the team haven’t fallen short on their promise to make greater use of social media to show fans what’s going on at their base.

A new series of videos posted on the USF1 site features executive vice president Peter Windsor and Speed TV commentator Bob Varsha interviewing different members of the team.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen an F1 team create this sort of content – Williams have done something similar with their “Factory” series in recent years (though I found the editing made it un-watchable).

But with so many questions being asked about USF1 it’s encouraging to see they’ve taken the route of putting more information about themselves into the public domain – in marked contrast to rivals such as Campos, about whom we’ve heard very little.

They also discuss the refuelling ban and the team’s plan to match rivals Virgin Racing by designing their car without the aid of a wind tunnel, relying instead on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. Watch the videos below and have a look at USF1 on Youtube for more.


25 comments on “Behind the scenes at USF1 (Video parts 1&2)”

  1. I’m abroad at the moment, and for all his faults, man I miss Varsha.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys
    13th January 2010, 9:47

    Not the best way to start the two parts – some of those guys seem a little lacking on the people-skills front – but it’s a necessary evil seeing as how Varsha goes through them in order of seniority.

  3. I like how utterly bare the place is. Why you’d choose to introduce Varsha in a huge, empty room, when people are criticising you for running a shell operation that won’t make the grid is what’s termed “interesting choice”. And the design office – err a long stretch of bare desk with a single monitor at the end of it. Haven’t watched the whole thing or part 2 yet but already comedy gold.

  4. Well in spite of some of the guys being quite mild with the comments, they are definitely a sharp bunch of people. However, they look a little overworked to me. But I am quite confident they know what they are doing, especially the last guy with CFD modeling.

  5. So… about this CFD-thing… is it the future?

    1. Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) with Large Eddy Simulation is. You heard it here first!

      I loved the ‘planted’ lotus 49 picture by the way. These guys will be fine though I think. Some poeples judgements have been a little clouded after seeing the McLaren factory and then comparing it to that. Does it really look that much different to the Toro Rosso base for example?

      1. The Torro Rosso factory has a car inside ;)

        It had a semi-staged vibe, I like how those two dudes just happened to be hanging out with the first guy they chat to.

  6. From the website when discussing their Motorland Aragon base:

    “Tilke has designed some of the greatest Formula One tracks in the world, including those in Bahrain, Shanghai, Istanbul and Abu Dhabi.”

    Hah! Maybe it should read “Greatest Formula One pit garage complexes, race control and and media centres”.

  7. Having watched both videos, the place reminds me of a poorly funded Scout Hall. I am really not convinced by these guys…..even one the Senior Designers admits he had “given up on F1 for the last 10 years” and “has a pile of rejection letters this high” from existing teams…hardly portrays himself as The Man to hire, does he?

    And what, exactly, is Peter Windsor adding to the mix? He gives the impression of being a man enjoying playing at being an F1 team boss, but without the pedigree or the substance to back it up.

    I sincerely hope I am wrong, but this really does not look like a long term F1 adventure to me.

  8. Good on them, it can only help their image.

  9. Have now watched both parts.

    I am going to be a COMMITTED USF1 fan this year, that was effing hilarious. I swear the guy with the “stack of rejection letters” is Steve Coogan or Rob Newman as a comedy plant. He’s even got the odd neck shrug. Honestly, who picks out a guy with a 10 year stack of rejection letters and nominates him to tell his story on tape, nervously? Note to PR guys: Engineers don’t like to talk unless it’s a Monty Python quoting competition.

    If I ever get to a Grand Prix (ie win the lottery), I’ll be there in USF1 colours, toaster in hand:

    1. “Note to PR guys: Engineers don’t like to talk unless it’s a Monty Python quoting competition.”

      That has got to be the Funniest/Truest statement I have heard on this thread!!

  10. Lets hope personality doesnt have any bearing on success, otherwise these guys are in trouble.

  11. Engineers who can’t talk like sales managers? Surely not! As for the rejection guy, it sounded to me like F1 was what he wanted to do, and it didn’t work out. He did mention something about Indycars. Getting good, hungry people who have been overlooked by the established order seems like a great strategy for a new team. It’s either that, or take on a bunch of guys who didn’t survive all the recent layoffs. Take your pick I guess.

  12. Why are they so nervous and shaky?

    1. 1) Because they’re random strangers pulled in off the street trying to remember their lines.

      2) Because they’re not sure if they’ll be allowed back out of the abandoned warehouse after the filming is finished.

      3) They haven’t eaten for 4 days because they didn’t get paid this month. Or last month.

      4) They don’t have a car or drivers or sponsors or tools for putting the cars together or shelves and have to be up and running in a few weeks.

      5) There’s a big order for toasters in the pipeline they’re hoping to land.

      Take your pick!

      1. 6) They’re working for crack.

  13. Looks like Peter is a little bored and he recently bought a new microphone.

  14. There’s a part 3 up now too. I haven’t watched it yet because my diaphragm needs more recovery time.

  15. Part 3 highlights:

    “It’s small enough that we don’t have any communication difficulties”
    >>> I can shout across the room and everyone in the company can hear me.

    “I went over to England to get a job there but that…. …. err… didn’t work out”
    >>> I see a theme developing here.

    “Having seen what the McLaren Technology Centre looks like and the halls at Maranello, what did you think of the facility here?”
    “Pretty Spartan I guess, but it’ll fill up in the next couple of months”

    >>> The time for filling the place up with engineers was… err. six months ago. Bit late now.

    Wow. I must say the guys there look like they’re bricking it, which they absolutely should be, but they have a good sense of humour about it all.

    As the company can’t afford shelves, bookcases, a computer for each desk, or anything else, they’ll need it!

    Gooooooo USF1!

  16. I agree. The production value and editing for The Factory is truely awful.

    Hopefully this will encourage other teams to start posting more content…

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