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”

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  1. I’d say Lola are pretty happy right now!! If it becomes official that USF1 are dead then Mastercard Lola will no longer be the most unsucessful entrant in F1 history!!!

    1. No, they fall into the same class as Prodrive as failing to come together before the season started. So in essence, they can’t have that honor, because they didn’t make the grid.

      Besides, Life is the worst F1 team ever.

  2. I’m shocked at the 1) lack of American corporate support for such a project (F1 is the MOST WATCHED sporting event/s on a yearly basis and could be gold for a fortune 500 co.), 2) the lack of “buzz” in the USA surrounding the fact we’ve finally got an F1 team. What about some P.R. from a celebrity or two? Some more Youtube videos of the car being built? EPSN doing a piece or two on them? Other than hardcore F1 fans, NOBODY IN THE USA (corporate or otherwise) EVEN KNOWS USF1 EXISTS! That’s not good enough nor does it bode well for the future of the team.

    On a similiar note – notice the lack of Fortune 500 sponsors in F1? Other than Ferrari and McLaren, you’re seeing Renault, Virgin, Lotus, Sauber, Force India, USF1, with sponsors that are anything short of global (or lack of sponsors altogether in the case of Sauber). Even RedBull is having to totally rely on their energy drink empire for the most part. Cost cutting better be working……..

    1. “the lack of “buzz” in the USA surrounding the fact we’ve finally got an F1 team. What about some P.R. from a celebrity or two? Some more Youtube videos of the car being built? EPSN doing a piece or two on them? Other than hardcore F1 fans, NOBODY IN THE USA (corporate or otherwise) EVEN KNOWS USF1 EXISTS!”

      I think that youre right. There is just a lack of interest for F1 here in the states. A few of us are fanatics, but the majority simply arent aware of F1.

    2. i have seen a lot of senterminet along the lines of

      Is this true? I was listening to the sports radio last sat at about ~2 to ~3am local time, and the station had switched to “fox sports radio’ or something like that, and the had a show on motorsport where along with nascar, F1 was talked about, and quite comprehensively as well. From USf1 troubles and “the ghost car” as they were calling it,
      to the ban on refulleing, tyre managment etc – they spent about 1/2 hr on it in total, then skipped back to it couple of time when talking about the impending Daytona 500. Commercial reality must dictate that they wouldn’t spend time talking about something motorsport fans had no / little intrest in. maybe???

      1. No, I don’t think it is true. I’m guessing that the people posting those statements don’t live in the US and therefore have no idea what they are talking about. I know many F1 fans that are very in to the sport and I know a lot of people who are knowledgeable of the sport and watch a few races, but are not die-hard fans. Also, since I am into the sport and frequently talk about it, I have realized that most people have some knowledge of the sport…Ferrari, Shumacher, etc…

        However, I do agree with a statement I read earlier that the general US public (non-F1 and non-Indy fan) could not easily tell the difference between an F1 car and an ‘Indy’ car.

  3. “As I thought from the outset, the whole thing was only going to be an embarrassment for America”
    I am American, and trust me, I am not embarressed.

    Most Americans are sleeping when these races are on TV. It is hard for them to get backing from American companies for that reason alone.

  4. Unlucky America.

  5. a sort of official statement from usf1 on twitter The US F1 Team web server is down and is being repaired as this is written. We are not gone, as many have reported. More news soon.

      1. they need to modify the rear tires a bit, those are too large in comparison to the fronts!!

  6. Plink Plonk Plunk
    18th February 2010, 16:30

    It doesnt help that ever since Bernie took USF1’s entrance money he immediately turned around and started slagging them off saying they wont make it.

    If you were looking to invest MILLIONS of dollars in something and the head of it’s management said that, would you put a dime into the company?

    I’m not saying it’s Bernie’s fault that USF1 is closing it’s doors but you ABSOLUTELY can blame him for not imbracing the teams he is supposed to have commerical rights and management over. I absolutely believe that Bernie’s remarks over the months have without a doubt cost USF1 (and Campos) sponsorship money.

    Too bad. After all the money they gave him/FIA they should have welcomned the new teams


    if they felt from the very begining that they would fail they should have given the spot to someoneelse.

    At minimum USF1 & Campos lost $ due to FOM’s big mouth.

    1. PPP – totally agree.

    2. There was no entrance money.

      Though, I have to agree that it was weird that he questioned if they would be on the grid so early on.

    3. What the 5 new teams paid for entry to the FIA this year is mere pitance compared to what teams have paid and lost in previous years.

  7. this is why the massive entry bond should have never been dropped, it proved a team could stump up the cash for everything else.

  8. Well it’s a pity really.

    The shell of a car we saw on one of their video’s looked preeety cool and weren’t they meant to have a different type of gearbox.

    It would have been cool to see them.

    Oh well better luck next time… if there is one…..

  9. It would be a big shame if this would really be the end of their play.
    I think the best solution for them would be to have a “merger” of both the teams “Americas F1”, it could save face for Campos as well as for USF1 and the partners they did get into their bids.

    They could get some money from selling 1 entry to StepanGP, have 2 drivers from latin america (both bringing money, one of them supported by a whole country, the other with a great name and potential fan support).
    The Dallara car would at least be drivable and track ready, any fancy ideas and innovations from the US can be incorporated sometime in the future.
    North America gets at least famous one driver on the grid (and Japan not missing makes it a worldwide grid).

    That would be a pretty good solution making the best of this and presenting positives. It will probably not happen, though.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      18th February 2010, 22:49

      I’m suspicious of the merger. I’m really quite against it if it’s a case of USF1 seeing Campos edge closer to securing a future and figuring that “Well, they’ll be on the grid, so let’s jump on their bandwagon and use them to have a presence on the grid”.

      1. You are against it? I don’t see your money in there. :-)

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          19th February 2010, 0:27

          I’m against the idea of USF1 allying itself with Campos simply because Campos can make the grid and USF1 cannot. It would just be USF1 leeching off Campos. However, I now see that it is only really Hurley who is talking with Campos; Windsor and Anderson are not invovled.

          1. That’s a pretty silly argument PM. If there’s any truth in this thing, it’s up to Campos to decide whether such a merger can be beneficial – if it’s not, then hopefully they’ll be smart enough not to do it and if it is, than there’s no leeching.

  10. As an American I was very excited when the announcement was made for USF1…but after assinine statements from half-wit Windsor about how Danica Patrick or Kyle Busch could come into F1 and become F1 Champion in a couple of years…I knew a man who made statements like that (they were made for no other reason than to obtain a bunch of redneck fans from NASCAR) had no business running an F1 team. To hell with Windsor and his talking down to American F1 fans. Maybe he can field a team in NASCAR(Non Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks) or IRL (Idiot Racing League)

  11. Totally agree. A race in the states and a respectable USF1 entry would have been great first steps in building more of a US fan base.

    The one recurring theme of this thread that I disagree with is the idea that USF1’s failure to turn up this year will do irreparable damage to the image of F1 in the US.

    Remember – few Americans follow F1. Those who dont follow probably havent even heard that there was going to BE a USF1. Those who already followed will continue to, since they followed last year with no USF1 at all.

  12. Prisoner Monkeys
    18th February 2010, 22:54

    I seem to recall reading that USF1 were in the process of deveoping their own engine in-house. If that’s the case, it’s probably one of their biggest problems. They should have waited for a few years before the started on it, establish themselves as a team first before they began work on an engine of their own. If it was really so important to have their own engine, they could have purchased re-badging rights from Cosworth. An unnecessary expense, but certainly far less pricey than devloping their own straight off the bat.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      18th February 2010, 23:50

      Actually, scratch that. It was the gearbox they were developing in-house, not the engine. Something was lost in translation.

  13. Interesting how people are bristling saying that USF1 is an All-American failure. It’s not, half the team aren’t Americans and one half of the driving force of the team (or braking force, as it turns out) is an Australian with a dream to run a F1 team.

    He couldn’t get one up and running in a sensible manner in a sensible way in Europe so he bounced across the pond to leech money out of the world’s biggest economy.

    I have heard it so often from clueless numpties that America has so much money sloshing around they don’t know what to do with it. The inference from that is that Americans are rubbish with money. Windsor is that kind of idiot.

    America is an amazingly competitive economy and the numbers were never there for USF1. Their whole operation was going to be vastly more expensive than they bargained for (leasing a plane big enough to carry their gear was going to bankrupt them in one hit) as was the challenge of building a new chassis and gearbox from scratch.

    Windsor is an opportunistic gob*****. Whenever he appears on Channel Ten here in Australia, I mute him because he talks such utter rubbish. Which is extraordinary for a man who travels with the F1 circus and gives reportage that is at odds with respected publications like Autosport.

    Which makes me think the teams won’t talk to him because he’s such a fool. How anyone thought a goose like this could get a respectable operation off the ground is anyone’s guess. Bernie knew he was off-beam and the reason I though he was off-beam is that he has the same motivation as Gillett – I want and I won’t stop until I get it. Money? Pah! Easy.

    So whether USF1’s staff are rejects or not, they’re all out of a job, a number of them having left good jobs in the first place, taken in by Windsor’s deranged skunkworks philosophy. This is why I am so hard on the guy, he has made many, many people’s lives very difficult on a personal, human level, to feed his own greed and ambition. These people just wanted to put food on the table and work in an F1 team.

    Windsor needs to man up and start typing some apologies to these people and, while he’s at it, explain to the Formula One community how he got this wrong. And not blame others, like he is probably already doing. Which we know he will, because if you’ve ever read anything written by him (presumptuous, molasses-like race reports) or listened to him on Speed/Channel Ten, you’ll know that Peter Windsor is always right.

    First rule in business: people will offer you all the money in the world because if they don’t have it, they don’t have to deliver it.

    1. I have to say, I’m not familiar with Windsor’s reporting and so have no real opinion on his personality, but your take on things is pretty convincing.

    2. “Windsor needs to man up and start typing some apologies to these people and, while he’s at it, explain to the Formula One community how he got this wrong.”

      I agree.

  14. According to Adam Cooper, the part of getting Lopez in at Campos, using his money to pay for the Dallarra car, is probaly signed. Now it is only a matter of days, before StepanGP takes over the USF1 entr?

    1. Adam Cooper’s reporting is rubbish. “It is widely reported”…so? Why I haven’t heard it elsewhere then???

      Besides, that’s yesterday’s by-line.

      Autosport(who I trust a whole heck of a lot more) reports that Jose Carabonte, majority shareholder in Campos Meta 1 is set to buy out the whole works.

      And no mention of Chad Hurley. Seems Jose may have deep pockets. Ex-Force India team principal Colin Kolles and ex-Red Bull technical director Geoff Willis have been retained at least short-term to get the Dallara chassis in shape and get the cars to the grid. It is unclear at this time if Adrain Campos will have any ongoing role with the team.

      As I commented elsewhere on this blog, I wonder if Adrian Campos has a sore bum about now.

  15. @zerogee.

    Brilliant assessment of USF1 as fumbled away by Windsor/Anderson. My compliments.

    One reason I was deluded into thinking they had a chance is because of their early start AND the depressed economy. No one (would they?)would start a new business venture, in a less then prospering economy unless they had the financing behind them, right?

    When it came time to walk the walk, they had no one to walk to the bank with. So sad.

  16. For me the question seems to be, who will Bernie choose to enter the parade, USF1 or Stefan GP. USF1 refuse to say they have given up and if other sources have a hint of truth in them:

    “A message via Twitter though insisted that the project will not be stillborn: “The web server is down and is being repaired as this is written. We are not gone, as many have reported. More news soon.”

    So will they find another investor, will Bernie rescue them?

  17. Don’t be surprised if there are only 20 cars in 2011

    1. Plink Plonk Plunk
      20th February 2010, 3:29

      I wonder if the FIA will adjust the points system for a 3rd time this off-season.

  18. @dsob

    Hurley has very deep pockets but as always, these people use other people’s money or in this case, he was meant to attract other people’s money. Was never going to work, because Hurley is not regarded as much of a business brain in the Valley. He’s a right time-right place sort of chap (and good luck to him, I’ll take a slice of that luck!) and even though he’s CEO of YouTube, it’s owned by Google, so Eric Schmidt is ultimately in charge.

    Hurley is indeed a very bright boy which is probably why he’s supposedly abandoned USF1.

    I notice Ken Anderson is quoted on the USF1 Facebook page as putting the responsibility on Bernie and the FIA.

  19. How things change. A few weeks ago everyone was saying that US F1 would make the grid and Campos would fail. Gone full circle.

  20. Oh dear…

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