US F1 set to abandon F1 bid

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

US F1 appear to be on the verge of giving up on their plans to compete in the 2010 F1 season.

Reports in the Argentinean media claim Peter Windsor told Jose Maria Lopez the team will not race in F1 this year.

There has been little news from the team for several weeks. It planned to test its car at Barber Motorsport Park this month but no details about the test have been forthcoming.

There are also doubts over high-profile backer Chad Hurley’s commitment to the project.

As recently as yesterday the team asserted it was still on-track to race in Bahrain.

The team has not yet officially responded to the reports but keep an eye on their official Twitter and Facebook presences for developments.

205 comments on “US F1 set to abandon F1 bid”

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3
  1. Wow. First Phoenix, and then Andretti at McLaren, Indy 2005 and now this. This country has been consistently shooting itself in the foot with regard to f1 for two decades now.

    I’m not suprised… just saddened. I’d like f1 to have an impact over here and it just seems like poor planning, laziness and dumb luck keep negating that.

    1. indy 2005 was clearly not america’s fault.

      1. Indy 2005 was in no way America’s fault. It was a fault with the Michelin tyres and the high speed banked corner, and there was solution, installing a temporary chicane, but the FIA / Ferrari said no. Of course Ferrari didn’t need the chicane because they were on Bridgestones instead. So the blame for Indy 2005 should probably rest halfway between Michelin for not having a suitable tyre and FIA / Ferrari for vetoing a temporary solution that would have allowed the full field to at least put on a show.

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          18th February 2010, 2:31

          You want to blame Ferrari, Bridgestone and the FIA for following the rules? Why should Bridgestone have been penalised for producing a safe tyre when Michelin didn’t?

          1. I’m saying that FIA / Ferarri should be blamed for failing to comprise. What they effectively did was destroy F1 in the US. They saw the short term gain of an easy race win, and took that over the potential long term gain of F1 having a strong presence in the US. They failed to act in the best interest of the sport, which is to have a full grid at each race. If I’m not mistaken, part of the deal with the chicane was that points would be awarded only to the teams that were running Bridgestone tyres. It would have been a fair compromise that would have at least allowed American fans to see as close to a real F1 races as possible given the circumstances, rather than the 6 car parade they were treated to.

          2. The organisation who “destroy F1 in the US” was clearly Michelin. It was they who failed to produce a safe tyre for the race, and caused the whole debacle, so you simply cannot go about blaming anyone else.

        2. Wish I’d seen this post sooner. Sir Frank Williams confirmed on BBC Radio 5 Live the following day that the chicane would have made no difference to the durability of the Michelin tyres. And to correct another misconception, Ferrari had asked for the rule regarding tyres to be reviewed when Michael Schumacher had a delamination at the Spanish GP earlier that season. All the Michelin shod teams said NO! The rules are the rules, they said. And along came Indy and bit them in the ****. Not Ferrari’s problem by any manner of means.

    2. USF1 is not America. Looking at how the FIA and Bernie run the sport in recent times, why should anyone be interested in throwing money in just to entertain us.

      Latest news, Yas Marina circuit has been sold to the government to clear its debt. Almost every circuit associated with F1, apart from Monaco, is going through financial difficulties.

      I love F1, its the only sport I follow, but a lot has to change.

  2. Sad if true, but the naysayers will have only been proven right by things being settled this way rather than the other. That’s not me trying to say my own position was still validated even in light of this news, just that there was a negativity surrounding USF1 for a long while, and if they had turned up in Bahrain that would have been proven wrong instead of right.

    I had hope for them and America’s involvement in F1 in general, but both seemed to have been dashed, completely and temporarily for the two respectively.

  3. Really a sad news to American Formula 1 fans….

  4. To be honest, an american team failing in F1 will do 0 to get the american general public interested in the sport. even if a race was to return to the states….what’s one race per year supposed to do to excite them when there are nascar and indy races a couple times a month that many americans adore? F1 in the states will be like football (soccer) in the states. some will love it and many more can get caught up in the hype, but it will never rival american sports such as NFL and MLB, just like F1 will never rival nascar and possibly indy (also they will find a way to get the name wrong lol)

    1. So what? I have always maintained that F1 will never be as popular as the domestic sports series over here, but that dosen’t mean that the sport cannot have a successful and profitable presence here. Just look at all the European soocer/football teams playing games and selling merchandise over here- they know they can’t rival the NFL in pure numbers, but they are building a great fan base and making money at the same time.

      1. Agreed.

        Also, how about actually starting the correct way, and giving an American race first, before letting in a team and expecting Americans to jump at supporting them? If Greece had an F1 team, it would work, because it’s a small country. If Britain announced it was entering a team into the World Tiddlywinks League (I know Britain already plays tiddlywinks, this is just an example), it wouldn’t raise interest in the sport overnight.

        Perhaps when we have a regular F1 race in America, the majority of it run on an oval, and perhaps a small winter series in the South for promotional purposes, perhaps then we can get a lot more Americans interested in F1.

  5. Why is there a limit on the number of cars allowed to Grid.

    1. I think the FIA limits the number of entries allowed in the Formula 1 World Championship. I don’t know why.

      In the FIA International Sporting Code, Appendix O, Supplement 2 there is an equation that calculates the maximum number of cars allowed to start a race based on the dimensions of a track. The minimum length of allowed for circuit that can be used for Formula 1 is 3.5km, and the minimum width for new circuits is 12 metres, so using these two values along with a couple of other parameters specified in the International Sporting Code, the maximum number of Formula 1 cars allowed to start a race on a 3.5km circuit is 33 cars. On longer circuits that number would increase. So I guess theoretically the FIA could allow upto 33 cars, if they wanted.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        18th February 2010, 5:00

        It’s for safety purposes. Some circuits can only hold a certain number of cars. While places like Shanghai and Abu Dhabi could easily hold thirty cars without breaking a sweat, the size of the grid is effectively limited to the number of cars the smallest venue can hold. That venue is Monaco. Space is at a premium on the streets of the principality, and the pits can only hold twenty-six or twenty-eight casr. I know parc ferme can only hold twenty-six (when the FIA was trying to pitch Sauber as a fourteenth team, they suggested installing video cameras in the pit garages and using them as parc ferme). Anything more would simply be unsafe.

        1. The cars are even longer this year, at least most of them.

        2. they say it is for safety purposes because that comes across better than ‘it is so there are less teams to split the money up with’

          all of these tracks run far more than 20-26 cars in other formula, even at high-speed formula.

          1. No, no they don’t. Monaco, which is the roadblock, only runs 26 GP2 cars (and nothing in other formulae). Until 1987 F1 only managed to squeeze 20 cars around the Principality. There just isn’t room.

  6. I think that the rumours are true. Chad Hurley must have left the picture a long time ago – look at thier website. It says that CH will take “an active role in sponsorship procurement and activation, external communications activities and enhancing exposure for US F1 Team through a variety of media-focused initiatives and campaigns.”
    I wonder how he is going with this? As a You-Tube Founder – the USF1 website has not been updated since late January – hardly the way to communicate activities and enhance exposure. If he was really into USF1 – we would be seeing daily updates – more media exposure. The official F1 website has barely mentioned the fact that USF1 even exist in the past weeks.
    I think that SGP has been a revelation in the sport in the last few weeks – sending his container to Bahrain – and just the comments Bernie has said have ‘spiced things up a bit’ F1 in past years has not had this sort of ‘good’ drama which it needs from time to time to raise its profile. It has had plenty of negative drama (McLaren/Renault) but this has just added something at a normally more boring time of year.

  7. Until it is official, I wouldn’t overreact from a report from argentina. Why would they be talking to the media when they are against a deadline? And why wouldn’t a paper in the US report this? The Charlotte Observer is a much more credable paper.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      18th February 2010, 4:47

      Because if it happened in Argentina – ie Windsor telling Lopez – then how would the Charlotte Observer know about it?

    2. Don’t forget that the sagging shoulders of a car less driver can convey much more information than many a smiling, champagne popping, press conference.

  8. Mark Hitchcock
    18th February 2010, 4:38

    Despite not really liking USF1, for the sake of the people who have committed to the project I hope this is just an unsubstantiated rumour.

    I won’t be sad to see the back of Windsor though.

  9. Prisoner Monkeys
    18th February 2010, 4:40

    You know, I’m not exactly heartbroken at the idea that USF1 might not make it. I would have liked to see them show up, if only to stick it to the nay-sayers who I feel attacked the team rather unjustly from the moment it was proposed.

    If this happens – I’m refusing to speak in absolutes because there’s always a chance that something may come of it – then I’m laying first claim to a guest article on what happened to the team and why.

    1. “I would have liked to see them show up, if only to stick it to the nay-sayers who I feel attacked the team rather unjustly from the moment it was proposed.”

      It’s a fair enough comment…but if, as looks likely, they don’t turn up at all (or maybe at best doing an Aguri and stealing an old chassis to limp around in) then the nay-sayers hardly unjustly attacked them – they were essentially able to read through the lines and see that it wasn’t going to happen.

      I’ll be disappointed if they don’t turn up, although as much in a “I want 13 teams” way than “I want USF1”. But throughout the process they’ve never established any credibility as a proper Formula 1 “entity”.

      To be fair, Campos haven’t either, and if it wasn’t for Dallara I’d have written them off in the same way before now.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        18th February 2010, 9:58

        the nay-sayers hardly unjustly attacked them – they were essentially able to read through the lines and see that it wasn’t going to happen

        No, they weren’t. They had no evidience of anything other than their dislike of Americans in general and Peter Windsor in particular. They were all making stupid claims like the machines in the SPEED-TV videos being props, the employees were all actors and the on-screen dsplays of car designs were all pre-rendered animations run especially for the cameras.

        1. Well, I was always sceptical of USF1 turning up, and I don’t remember ever slagging off Americans, Windsor, actors or animations.

        2. Whilst I don’t agree with your earlier point about the FIA (who I feel share a good deal – though not the majority – of the blame), I agree with you that the naysayers just happened to be “proven” right. The worst thing is this “proof” will provide ammunition for just about anything to do with F1 and the USA – every time it will be: “Yeh, remember USF1?” and whatever the proposal, it will be put down just as USF1 was.

        3. Your assumption that people sceptical of this team are automatically being anti-american is misplaced, erroneous, and reflects badly on you.

          All the evidence that this team was going to have problems was evident from day 1. As the months went by, it only got worse. When they started releasing videos of empty rooms, then it got laughable. Campos at least had the sense to keep quiet when things were going badly, as opposed to getting louder.

          In fact the only person I saw engaged in jingoistic nationalistic invective was Peter Windsor and his “europeans are lazy” rant on the offical USF1 blog.

          1. “Your assumption that people sceptical of this team are automatically being anti-american is misplaced, erroneous, and reflects badly on you.”

            I agree with that statement.

  10. Wow. I’ll reserve comment for the official announcement, but it really is sounding like USF1 won’t make it to the grid.

    I’m not surprised that finding sponsors has been difficult for USF1. It’s simple really, in the USA Formula One is to racing as soccer is to sports.

    1. There usually are no official announcements in such situations. Everybody just goes to bed and hope the mess is cleared away from their backyard by morning. :-)

  11. “This country has been consistently shooting itself in the foot with regard to f1 for two decades now.”

    Sorry dude, it ain’t the country, it’s individual people.
    Windsor tried to sell the “American Team” concept, but unfortunately there were no buyers. And knuckleheads like you will gleefully continue to dump on America.

    Regardless, I’m personally gutted that they screwed the pooch on this effort.

  12. Plink Plonk Plunk
    18th February 2010, 7:29

    Regardless if these rumours are true or not I’m done throwing my support to USF1.

    Yes, I desperately wanted them to make it and shine but with less than a month to go; no test, no second driver, no motor, no idea even when they will fire the car up?

    Seriously! For a team that was suppose to have been in the making for years…..they look a complete mess!

    I have to say….I never bought into the whole ‘were an American team’ nonesense. Windsor’s English as is half the other team members. Just cause you [failed to] build a car in the US doesnt make you an American team.

    1. Windsor is Australian, but yes, not American.

  13. Well, damn. I had high hopes. Here’s something semi-official, as it is from Lopez’s own website.

    “Taking into account the amount of information dumped on the participation of Jose Maria Lopez pilot in Formula 1 in the 2010 season is reported in yesterday Jose Maria Lopez (father) with Felipe Mc Gough and visited the headquarters Victor Rosso of USF1 in Charlotte, USA, to make contact with team officials.

    At that meeting several issues were touched to know in depth the state of affairs of the new squadron commanding Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson.

    After the meeting with a certain idea of the current state of the U.S. team last night set out for London, England.

    In London, several meetings were generated, one with executives of the FOM (Formula One Management) who presides over Bernie Ecclestone.

    The result of these was positive and expected for a similar agenda on Thursday to today.

    Lopez (p), Mc Gough and Rosso are scheduled to return to our country next weekend.”

    I think it is obvious things aren’t good, or else they wouldn’t have flown to London. Perhaps they are looking for another ride.

    1. The account’s been suspended. That was quick.

      1. Yeah, I’m glad I copied and pasted that instead of just posting the link.

  14. After all the promise in January, it looks like they are done. But there is still hope that we’ll have a full grid in Bahrain.
    The only way Stefan GP can get an entry is buying one of the existing ones (Virgin and Lotus will never agree to give them a new entry, as only the top10 in the constructor’s championship will get a share of the TV money). And if USF1 fails, they don’t have just some unhappy sponsors, but also the government of a not-so-small country that would want its money back. So selling their entry with Lopez attached to it might make sense…

    1. You can’t sell an entry on its own. Stefan GP would have to actually buy the team, including its debt to Cosworth and its lease on the Charlotte facility. The alternative is that USF1 withdraws its entry entirely and a brand-new one is granted to Stefan GP, but that would require a lot of legal wrangling and the agreement of all the other teams (which, let’s face it, isn’t going to happen).

      1. It would be crazy if Stefan GP bought the team, since they have already bought one. The most likely scenario is that USF1 will have to withdraw based on bankruptcy. And I am not really sure if they will then have to pay a penalty under these conditions… :/

        Stefan GP is probably next in line to be granted a grid by FIA should any team fail to show up for the first race, or pull out… We’ll just have to wait and see what hpns

  15. I will keep hoping that USF1 make the grid until it is official that they won’t race, the same with Campos.

    On the bright side we are still due to have more cars on the grid than last season as there have already been 11 teams who have launched their car and are testing them, and if USF1 and/or Campos don’t make it looks like Stefan GP will.

  16. hoping stefan gp get in

    and hoping villeneuve and ralf are the drivers :)

    1. Accidental Mick
      18th February 2010, 10:43

      Why? Neither Villeneuve or (Ralf) Schumaker were ever very good.

      1. Saying that Villeneuve was never any good is rather overstating it don’t you think?

      2. The two drivers have 17 wins between them, so they can’t be that bad.

    2. What did Ralph achieve in F1 apart from his salary?

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        18th February 2010, 11:30

        Well, he proved that Spykers weren’t condemened to last place …

        1. Ralph raced for Spyker?

          1. Prisoner Monkeys
            18th February 2010, 12:06

            No, he raced for Toyota. Actually, raced isn’t the right word. “Drove around in last place” might be a better descriptor, which saved Spyker from dead last.

          2. Oh, come on, that’s a bit harsh, since he did win 6 races in his career.

          3. Prisoner Monkeys
            18th February 2010, 22:23

            Oh, come on, that’s a bit harsh, since he did win 6 races in his career.

            Yes, he did win six races in his career. Then he spent most of his time at Monaco in last. Very unbecoming of the “third-best driver in the sport”, wouldn’t you agree?

  17. It would appear Villeneuve is closing in on a deal with Stefan GP.

    With the containers out in the Middle East and Malaysia and now the team doing deals with drivers you’d have to say that they have more than just a vague hope of a slot on the 2010 grid. They must be fairly confident at this stage.

  18. I want to know what’s going to happen to all those toasters.

    Or maybe they could make some money selling that rare and exclusive nosecone they made.

    1. Can we be sure it was actual F1 nose cone or an old indycar item.

  19. How sad to see the kind of reputation we Argentinian people have in the rest of the world, in the light of some comments here…

    1. I don’t think anyone is bashing Argentina or it’s people…just saying don’t trust journalists and in this case, Argentinian journalists…

      1. You trust maybe the Sun?

  20. Villeneuve (Jacque, LeBebe) is like a vampire feeding off his own fleeting moment of glory. Until someone drives a wooden stake through his ego driven self image he’ll be trying to catch rides forever. Everyone deserves a second chance, he had more than his share of failed opportunities. Give the seat to a newbie.

    If Stefan GP give the ride to LeBebe, that’s one team that will not receive any kind thoughts from yours truly.

    1. Geez, that’s a little bit brutal. I mean I agree on the ego thing, but he really was not well surrounded with Craig Pollock – that guy always seemed like slimy piece of work to me.

      Anyhoo – when you own a team you’ll get to decide who not to give race seats to, I guess.

    2. hahahahaha @ GeorgeK…true. He WAS fast and fun to watch…but it’s over…

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.