US F1 closes down

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

US F1 has closed its factory less than two weeks before it was supposed to begin competing in Formula 1.

According to Autosport the remaining staff have been laid off. I have been trying to contact the team for several days without success.

There has not yet been an official announcement from the team.

It remains to be seen if there will be time for their entry to be taken up by Stefan GP with the first practice session at Bahrain just ten days away.

Read more: US F1 set to abandon F1 bid

113 comments on “US F1 closes down”

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  1. Can’t help feel sorry for Pete Winsor, and the other well motivated individuals. Looks like Ken Anderson seems to have been the bottleneck?

  2. Not surprised…
    Bring on Bahrain now!

  3. Prisoner Monkeys
    2nd March 2010, 21:38

    I’m not heartbroken.

  4. So how long will it take before Campos do the same (if they haven’t already done so)?

  5. Last year we had three new teams on the entry list. Seriously, who would have thought back then that the unknown Manor Team would show up at the second test together with Red Bull while the headline-grabbing USF1 team would end up as propably the most farcial F1 attempt of the decade?

    I didn’t expect this.

  6. I don’t care. I mean, both Stefan GP and USF1 are teams that didn’t do any testing. They will not contribute anything except being obstacles on the road for the other 11 teams (yes, including Virgin). I do think that it might be slightly better with Stefan GP since they won’t have an all (not very promising) rookie lineup with Jacques Villeneuve. He was a former world champion but not the best driver ever IMO. Campos/Hispania (or whatever the hell they call it) and Stefan GP/USF1 will provide a huge amount of entertainment, just not of the good kind. It would be a HUGE surprise if they aren’t 7 or 8 seconds behind on the other teams and if they make it to the finish of any race. I say disqualify them and let them try again next year.

    1. Stefan GP have had a car and a driver for a while and would have had a few days testing last week – but they couldn’t get a tyre deal. Plus their car is basically the Toyota TF110, so it shouldn’t be that bad. And, with the “Hispania” being built by Dallara, I dont think that will be too disasterous either.

      1. While Stephan GP won’t set any speed records, I wouldn’t paint them with the same brush as Campos and USF1.

        Stephanovic bought into a good deal on what is likely a reasonable F1 car and is ready to go. Compared to the out-sourcing Campos and the disaster that is USF1, it looks like it should be a fairly credible F1 operation. Stephanovic is obviously an astute operator, as he got the deal with Toyota that either Campos or USF1 should have had were they not asleep at the switch.

        Were it not for contractual restrictions on tires, Stephan would have had some testing under their belt in advance of Bahrain.

  7. I am not surprised to hear about the demise of USF1. Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson weren’t ever going to fool anybody by saying that they would be on the grid. They just made themselves look even more stupid. Peter Windsor is a good journalist. That is a good journalist, NOT team principal. I think Formula 1 has tried enough to establish itself in the US and it is just not meant to be so they should stop wasting time and money trying.

    Stefan GP I think should be on the grid. They clearly took the initiative in purchasing the remains of Toyota rather than trying (and ultimately failing) to design and build their own chassis.
    And we mustn’t forget that Stefan GP won’t be trundling around at the back 7/8 seconds off the pace. Why? Because the car was designed by Toyota, and I can’t see it being worse than the Campos car, Lotus car or Virgin car.

    That leads me smoothly onto the next point. Campos. Whilst they are saying they will be ready for Bahrain. It is only 10 days until the practice and they haven’t released images of their car, launched their team officially or even signed a second and third driver. Will they be on the grid? Time will tell, however, for their second driver I think Adam Carroll deserves the drive. Surely Adam Carroll was a more deserving A1 GP champion than Jenson Button was a Formula 1 champion. And why should he suffer just because his last success came over a year ago.

    Looking ahead to the Bahrain gp, I think Felipe Massa will be the man to beat. This is because he is a past winner at the track, the Ferrari has been looking like the best car (unless Mercedes can put the cat amongst the pigeons with their new “super diffuser”) and the fact that Fernando Alonso has never been able to manage tyres effectively on heavy fuel (Monaco 2005 as a prime example). Michael Schumacher’s fitness is yet to be proved, however I do think he will pass the first race with flying colours. Red Bull appear to have been extremely unreliable (the worst of the existing teams) in testing and the heat of Bahrain will be a very tough test on their engine (which is notably weak). McLaren, I have my doubts about. Button has historically performed well in Bahrain and I think could out perform Hamilton. The car itself baffles me. Why would McLaren use all of their fancy contraptions if the car is performing well. I think they have aerodynamic problems which need fixed.

    Certainly the season will be incredible and I cannot wait for it to start next week.

    Ps does anybody else know if the BBC Classic F1 feature will start tomorrow for voting?

  8. i didn’t want to believe the stories, but once again, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” i’m very interested in what charlie has to say, either directly or through the fia. this is a massive disappointment.


  9. Give it to Stefan – the little boys ARE needed in F1 just as much as Ferrari. Sanitising it so we have nothing but £150million budgeted teams takes away chance of an upset – i.e. the team surviving on £50 a week gaining a point or even a podium.

    This surely makes USF1 even worse than Lola and Andrea Moda?!

    1. Aleksandar Serbia
      3rd March 2010, 0:11

      Big hug, thanx man :)

  10. Sad news, especially for the staff. Hopefully now Stefan can get on the grid (and employ USF1 workers made redundant), and hopefully the USA will be back to build up its presence in F1 once more.


    Made me giggle a bit, but USF1 being over is kinda sad. I did want them to do well when they were announced, but ah well.. (G’won Stefan/ lotus :D)

  12. Gman, who usually argues with me ;-) is right – the location wasn’t the problem, it was the geese in charge. I wouldn’t like to call Anderson and Windsor liars, but they are cowards who didn’t even deliver the bad news to the 60 people now out of work (if Autosport is to be believed). The whole thing was a stunt, they chanced their arm and they should now be made to pay. All Windsor and Anderson ever talked about was their dream to go racing. I don’t think they could put together a V8 Supercar team let alone a F1 team. I think even if they had the money they’d screw it up. With all the stories flying around, it seems they had $16m of driver money (over a third of their planned budget) and allegedly had Hurley money (I don’t think they ever had any folding from him, to be brutally honest). And they still messed it up. The skunkworks approach was complete nonsense.

    A properly funded American team with smart people and no egos would and could be great. I still think USF1 was fundamentally flawed in its logistics and plans to operate two bases and all that rubbish.

    Big time.

    As for the Stefan GP antipathy…well, I’m not sure what to make of it. They’ll probably be faster than Lotus from Bahrain to Spain and that’s no insult to Lotus – Toyota spent a lot of money on that car, one imagines. But if the Gascoyne effect takes hold, Sauber, Williams and Renault better watch out.

    I want a full grid – don’t you all?

    1. See, we can indeed get along, haha ;)

      Indeed, my point is that, while things like the location were much different than other F1 teams, USF1 has flopped for the exact same reason as most other F1 flops have…mismanagement of one sort or another. I have no doubt the guys on the shop floor worked as hard as anyone on the project, but if the people at the top can’t make even basic decisions, it all won’t amount to anything at the end of the day.

      If the project had the proper funding and competent management- as I thought for so long it did- it could have been a fantastic concept. But apparently, all the talk at the beginning was just that- talk. Either that or a whole house of cards came falling down- I suppose we’ll find out the whole story somewhere down the road.

      1. The whole story? From Windsor? Not likely. According to Autoweek, he’s already abandoned the place and is presumably going cap in hand to some media outlet. I think Bernie should ban him from the paddock for bringing the sport into disrepute.

  13. Bring Srefan GP on Bahrain,but with no testing will they be competitive?

    Any news on Campos ?

  14. Terribly unshocking. Didn’t call this as the finish before it started.

    pathetic. and yet, as an American I feel happy as this is less embarrassment than the team would be if it hit the grid.

    good riddance.

  15. How did this end up happening? Weren’t Windsor and Anderson planning on entering F1 for the past few years? I was under the impression that the idea behind USF1 was born long before all the issues last year which ended up with the FIA opening more spots on the grid. How could this team, which I thought had been in the works for years, have failed so miserably when teams like Lotus and Virgin, who only found out a couple of months ago that they were joining F1, have cars running and ready to go.

    I hate to say it, but Ferrari is right. USF1 is out, Campos has yet to be seen, and if I remember correctly, Trulli said his car is 4 seconds off the pace. Virgin has yet to inspire me either. Maybe the next time the FIA decides to add 6 cars to the grid, they will pay more attention to Pro Drive and Lola.

    Even better, if Todt were to make nice with the manufacturers, he could go after VW, which I heard rumors about looking at F1, and to finally have a presence in the US, Ford.

    1. Do you seriously believe, that any new team, save one using customer cars, can be anywhere near the pace right from the start?

      While 4 seconds seems a lot, and takes an enormous amount of work to bridge, it is actually less than 5 % of the laptime.

      Branson had a point there, stating the handicap of the new teams not to be able to test more than the established teams and catch them up.
      As can be expected in the highest level of Motorsport, experience at this level is needed to be at the top of the grid.
      That is what makes the top outfits, i.e. the teams of McLaren and Ferrari, Mr. Brawn, Mr. Newey.

      1. Thing is though, it’s been said in the past that it’s easier to close up from the back of the pack than it is to move from mid-field to front-runner.

        So I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Lotus and (perhaps) Virgin closing that gap quite quickly…

  16. I remember McLaren being 2.5 to 3 seconds off the pace at the beginning of last season. Terrible it was, and so embarrassing. They should never have been allowed to start the season. LOL

    And the less said about their 95 season etc, the better.

  17. Well, it sure would be good to eventually see an investigative journalism piece that would reconstruct what happened at USF1, from its inception to its demise… it could then be mandated as required reading for all hopeful F1 entrants as a “How not to do it” reader.

    Really feel sorry for all F1 fans in the States.

  18. Well I suppose the only thing left is for USF1 to be officially withdrawn from the Championship. I am sad that they have failed but the writing has been on the wall for a while.

    The focus will now be on whether Stefan GP are allowed to race, I hope they are as I would like a full grid and it seems people like Ecclestone will be trying to make it happen so that will increase their chances, but this being F1 I don’t know what will happen.

  19. I’m getting pretty tired of reading “The FIA have made a mess of the selection procedure”. No they didn’t, they simply decided on it, operated it and this is the mess the entrants have got themselves into. Who the hell are the FIA supposed to be, God? They are a regulatory body not a Mummy to wipe everybody’s noses.

  20. Finally sick of hearing about usf1 obviously the problems are with the management of usf1 they had more time then the other teams starting out and always saying that they are ahead of schedula and will be their on the starting of the grid and look what happens …..promises promises and now the end oh well only i feel sorry for all the workers that were promised big things and now no jobs shame on u usf1

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