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USF1 troubles start to leak out
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USF1 troubles start to leak out
Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Feb 2010   |  11:59 pm GMT  |  116 comments

For anyone interested in the ongoing troubles of USF1, it’s worth checking out Autosport tonight. They have a well researched and thorough piece on the situation from an anonymous team insider, alleging that the whole thing has been poorly planned by team principal Ken Anderson and that the staff are uncertain whether they will be paid this week. Autosport have also put the allegations to Anderson who calls them “one-sided”.

The source suggests that the only person who can rescue the situation is multi-millionaire You Tube backer Chad Hurley, “(We) feel Hurley has no intention of abandoning us even though the media has said he’s gone with Campos, ” said the source. But at this stage, Hurley may well feel less than inclined to throw good money after bad.

“There has been precious little in the way of formal planning and documentation. No production schedules, simply very little in the way of planning,” said the source.

“Our January 15 pay cheque was late. It was paid by the 20th or so, but it certainly caused commotion and people started asking questions.

“That’s when all the company’s issues came to a head, and the conclusion was… yes, we had been lied to about the long-term budget, and indeed the company had a cash flow issue. But as mentioned, that really was a secondary issue.

“Think of it this way, ignoring the fact that we were lied to about the budget, if you don’t have a car or can’t show serious progress in that direction, potential sponsors aren’t going to have a tendency to give you money.

“At the moment there are still 60 people working in Charlotte, but 10 have already left.”

Read the whole article here USF1 Story

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116 Comments
  1. Abi says:

    So much drama in F1 even before we get to the grid! It seems the most interesting part of the first race is going to be whose there rather than the rule changes this year!

  2. Rudy Pyatt says:

    Okay, TM called it: I really feel badly for the workforce. They are getting shafted. If all this is true, it’s (I’ll be polite) shameful.

    1. Rudy Pyatt says:

      This really IS making me think BRM, with Chad Hurley possibly (fingers crossed) coming through as Sir Alfred Owen. Rename this project “ARM/YouTube” if he does.

      Maybe, MAYBE, he can save the situation by putting his hand up and saying to Bernie etc., “Hey, I’m not going to let this project end this way. I know you don’t require it now, but you know what? I’ll put up $40 million as a bond for this year, you take what you want from that as a penalty, and we’ll come in next season, ready to go.”

      The only other possibility that I can remotely see FOM/FIA/FOTA accepting would be take their cut of that $40 million chunk of change, give the team the four races needed to get ready, and let them race this season.

      Bruce Ashmore would be well cast as Tony Rudd, but I believe he’s got his hands full on another project. Too bad.

      Drivers? Boris Said – Great road racing pedigree, good on the NASCAR ovals, even though he’s considered “a road course ringer”, and an all around funny guy who’s great with the media and a good analyst himself. And just grab Marco Andretti already. Mario wants him in F1 anyway.

      1. Bayan says:

        completely agree with you that Hurley should take over the team AND USF1 should concerntrate on next yr and not race this yr.

  3. Carsten says:

    R.I.P USF1. Never had much hope for you anyway.

    I guess time will tell what happens to this team. I feel sorry for all the employee’s working there…

  4. Lopek says:

    It’s an interesting read.

    I am surprised it has taken this long for things to start leaking from USF1 – it suggests a strong team spirit among the employees. That it has leaked now says a lot about how bad the situation must have got.

    It will need a brave (foolish?) sponsor to pay any money right now.

  5. Malcolm46 says:

    Ah…. thats not good.

    Guess this makes Gascoyne look really good considering what he’s achieved with Lotus in less time than USF1.

    Its a shame, but it really doesnt sound like they’ll make it. How they can build two complete cars and get them to Bahrain in two weeks is beyond me.

    1. IronMike72 says:

      Good point about Gasgoyne’s comments on production planning. The old axiom goes like this……..

      Proper
      Planning
      Prevents
      Piss
      Poor
      Performance

      In other words the 6 P’s…….

      Note to Ken Anderson…

      Together
      Everyone
      Achieves
      More

  6. Marc says:

    You would have to say at this stage USF1 chances to participate in this season look very poor. Clearly it’s not an easy thing to give up but from a fans perspective I’d sooner see a potentially competative ex toyota going round in circles than nothing at all.

  7. Oliver Tennant says:

    Isn’t the real issue here the clearly questionable process of how the new teams were selected. The FIA should be defending their choices rather than emphasising how they are not going to allow new teams to miss races. Why were Prodrive with the experienced David Richards rejected. Mosley, whose intentions were probably correct, has made a mockery of what is meant to be an exclusive and aspirational sport by allowing wannabees the chance to compete.

    1. Drezman says:

      Actually no. If someone can’t organise a p%ss-up in a brewery and in the process alienates a petrol head billionaire then it has nothing todo with the FIA.

      And again… Mr Richards has paid over 600 employees off and shut his Aston factory for a protracted period + DAR have defaulted on loans and are restructuring. Man City type backers they are not! He could easily have found himself in the same money problems as USF1.

      Stop banging on about Prodrive

      1. Oliver Tennant says:

        Richards was ready to get involved in the buy out of the Renault team so don’t try and suggest that Prodrive is struggling. Prodrive have tried four times to get into F1 a move that would have brought the prestigious Aston Martin brand into the sport – this doesn’t sound like an outfit that is likely to incurr finiancial difficulties. It boils down to this, why were the teams such as Campos and USF1 accepted whilst Lotus was rejected? Now since its inclusion Lotus has looked like the strongest new team – therefore it doesn’t seem to have been a great selection process.

      2. Ieuan says:

        They have tried 4 times and were granted a spot on one of those occasions, at which point all Richard’s promises dried up and the team never got as far as USF1 have.

      3. Oliver Tennant says:

        Ieuan – you’re wrong. The reason Prodrive didn’t get in was because the Williams team challenged their proposed use of customer cars in the 2008 Championship. They would have got a lot further than USF1 on that occassion because they had a provisional technical partnership with Mclaren – maybe know the facts before you wade into a discussion?

  8. dans says:

    Reading it made me feel sick. A sickening state of affairs, if it wasnt for the plight of the employees, i would be glad to them fold.

  9. nuvolarifan says:

    This is obviously a terrible situation, but I feel really badly for Peter Windsor. I have felt all along that all the horrible things people have been blogging about Peter were awful, unfair, and non-sense. PA doesn’t design cars; he’s PR. It’s a shame that, apparently, KA is not a particularly good manager, but spare a thought for Peter.

    Peter has worked so hard to put his team together. Apparently through no fault of his own, it is falling apart.

    And so many heartless, fair weather fans are blaming the poor guy.

    I feel for you, Peter, and I really hope that one day we will see your team on the grid.

    1. Big Yellow says:

      Thanks Peter

    2. Steve says:

      Feel sorry for Windsor. Your kidding right? I can’t feel sorry for someone who continually lied about the situation. In December he claimed the chassis was done and the holdup was Cosworth. I see Cosworth engines but I don’t see a USF1 chassis. They had a tiny factory in Charlotte. Don’t kid yourself, Peter knew exactly what was going on.

    3. Frenchie says:

      I think Peter might have a slight attitude problem. He has quite a big mouth (at least on TV before the Grands Prix here in Oz) and it wouldn’t surprise me he talked himself up.

      If as he says, they’ve been planning their entry for five years, he and Ken would have planned the business meticulously.

      As Sporting Director and former team manager, I believe he has nowhere to hide (but Charlotte. :-))

    4. F1ART says:

      Maybe everyone is fed up with his over
      bulls*!t positive spin on everything, must think we fans are stupid along with the nonexistent sponsors, must say I had a lot of respect for Peter’s journalism before but I will never read his script it in the same light again.

    5. GP says:

      I completely agree. Peter Windsor is a good guy and passionate about racing and F1 in particular. In my opinion, his only fault was that he became too close emotionally instead of keeping a cool perspective.

    6. Bayan says:

      I do feel for Peter Windsor a bit but don’t you think being the face of the team, he should have been closer to the action the he really was? You’d have to be really blind to miss problems this big.

  10. Tim Lockhart says:

    I think it would be a terrible shame if USF1 don’t make it! Alarm bells were ringing when their first driver was a pay driver and very public it was too. Just compare to Virgin and Lotus who ‘appear’ to have been able to attract experienced drivers and then cover their costs with pay drivers. It’s a shame F1 doesn’t actually represent the best 20 or so drivers in the world but that’s the way it’s always been.

    James here is my question – Do you believe USf1 made a mistake not buying up Toyota’s car and equipment?

    I don’t know how or when the Stefan GP deal was arranged but it appears more sensible just to get a prepared outfit just so you on the grid than risking it going alone.

    1. James Allen says:

      Toyota’s car wasn’t for sale until the end of the season

  11. bones says:

    Is not a surprise at all,I could expect this kind of bad management from F1 outsiders but not from these two,specially from Windsor,after all he was so close to buy Brabham(that was on 1990 right James?)he worked in a couple of teams,so he knew/knows what and how to do it.
    Anyway,hopefully they will make it somehow to the grid but FIA should release an official statement,thay have to give them a deadline,this is not the 70′s anymore,there are so many business around F1 that is not serious and not funny anymore that less than 3 weeks to start a season nobody knows how many teams are for really racing.
    Is not serious.

  12. F1 Kitteh says:

    Looking from their videos/photos, it seems that they are in need of experienced technical hands to lead and manage the show. Perhaps the best bet is to get the necessary help and re-org, aim for 2011 rather than putting on an embarrassment which might do irreparable harm to F1 in the US. I think a lot of people wish this project to succeed but judging by the fact that the management allowed the problem to run away for so long with their heads buried in the sand, they don’t seem to be the people that will make it happen.

  13. TG says:

    America should be in F1, in some form. But I think USF1 has just proved that has to happen first with either a high-profile track (not Indy, unfortunately) or a high-profile American driver involved. And short of Danica Patrick getting in an F1 car, I can’t see many American Indy/Nascar fans taking much notice.
    What would be the best US track for F1? Personlly I’d love to see them at Laguna Seca, but that’s just to see what would happen at Turn 8!

    1. DanielC says:

      I think they should race in the half-street half track in Downtown Miami. Once they fix that horrible dip in the road that was bottoming out the CART cars.

      Think about it; Miami is an international city with lots of F1 fans from south america and europe. With those newly built empty condos right over the track selling for 100k I would think all those developers would get together and find the money to host the race, as it would make all their Downtown properties gain cachet. And it could be a night city race just like Bernie loves, the closest thing to Monaco in north america.

      James, Have you heard anyone talk about Miami as a possible venue?

      1. serbian vulture says:

        bernie would take f1 to hell if there was money to gain there. I just don’t think a businessman would consider the figures viable. A government is what bernie is looking for, and the us government has other things where to invest on… like war all over the world.

      2. F1 Outsider says:

        I wouldn’t mind having an F1 race here in my backyard. But having lived in South Florida for the past 10 years, I personally don’t know any other F1 fan apart from my wife. While it is true that there is a huge population of South Americans, it is only the Brazilian and Argentinians that actually have any interest in F1 at all.

        Regardless though, they would surely be able to fill the grandstands with people to watch the race live. I’d be there in a heart beat. The problem is getting a television audience. F1 cars on street races are incredibly dull for the average fan. A street race in Miami would be just as glamorous as Singapore and Valencia, but also just as dull to watch on tv. Americans won’t watch a parade of expensive cars going by pretty scenery.

    2. Proesterchen says:

      Why should the US be part of Formula 1? Clearly, the money isn’t there to support that – it’s not there to pay for a race, it’s not even there to bring a driver through the minors, and it’s definitely not there to finance a team.

      I could see how the US was the target for Formula 1 when the big manufacturers were interested in marketing their wares to the American consumer, but with them both largely out of the picture, there’s absolutely no sense in vying for a market that just isn’t there.

      1. Mark Crooks says:

        I think for F1 to succeed in the US the IRL needs to first improve and make a big dent in NASCAR. Once IRL is in better shape with quality drivers then I would like to see the FIA and IRL to work together.

        Imagine if we could see an IRL race and an F1 race at the same venue at the same weekend. I think that would definately draw in the crowds and both racing series would benefit.

      2. Adrian says:

        I like that idea, but I’d want to it work both ways. Have an F1 and IRL race at the same track on the same weekend in the USA, but also have an IRL race at one of the European tracks on the same weekend as an F1 race.

        And perhaps as a showcase there could be a pair of “feature races” 1 in F1 machinery and 1 in IRL machinery with drivers from both series taking part…

    3. GP says:

      The only really good F1 circuits in the US are Elkhart Lake and Watkins Glenn. Unfortunately, both aren’t near major population areas. Laguna Seca is a great circuit but a bit on the slow side like the Hungaroring. When J-P Montoya first drove on Elkhart Lake in his CART days he said that this circuit would be awesome in an F1 car.

      1. American_F1_Fan says:

        Couldn’t agree more. Watkins Glen FTW! Of course the Long Beach street circuit would work as well, but I hate street circuits.

  14. R.E.M. says:

    It also seems that Peter Windsor isn’t completely guilty of lying to the media, but was naive enough to trust everything Ken Anderson has said. Anyway, I can’t see Hurley making much of a difference… unless, Stefan know they won’t be on the grid in 2010. If this is the case, Hurley could invest his long-term future in F1. He could buy the Toyota chassis, pay-off Cosworth, and buyout Ken Anderson, who’s mismanagement has likely killed the team. Of course then they’d have to shake down the car and find 2 drivers (Lopez might be Campos bound), in a little more than 2 weeks. If it happens, they’ll likely be a deal with the FIA to MAYBE miss the 3 races.

    But all of that seems unlikely, doesn’t it James?

  15. Peter Brito says:

    I maintain that I cannot believe USF1 or Campos for that matter obtained a seat in the 2010 championship.
    How is it possible for the FIA or Bernie to deny entry to Lola or Prodrive/Aston Martin into F1. Surely it would be a good PR story to have allowed another manufacturer into f1 (aston martin) rather than give the slot to a unprepared team/organization.

    James – do you know anything about the screening or due diligence process involved for new teams?
    If FOTA should push for anything; it’s to have a say in who joins the F1 grid. This current situation is embarrassing and unacceptable for F1

    1. Dale says:

      FOTA should have gone their own way when they had the chance, probably the manufacturers who have left would have stayed and we’d be looking forward to an amazing F1 season without any dodgy FIA dealings.
      Let’s not forget it was Max Mosley’s FIA that started the war and not the teams (FOTA).
      I guess with this mess many will remember Mosley for this mess and not for his spankings, couldn’t make it up could we :?:

      1. Drezman says:

        Did I miss something or did FOTA not actually win. It was Max who had to give up on budget caps, two tier race series, resignation, etc.

        Then they pulled out anyway :0

        He may have have a royal pain at times but the boards of major companies pulling out of a ‘sport?’ when they are losing millions in the real world is not the fault of spanky.

      2. Sick Elvis says:

        Thinking that FOTA won is fairly naive – it was pretty clear that Mosely got what he wanted – go in asking for two when you really just need one.

        The same way Bernie always gets what he wants from circuits who at first ‘are not willing to pay what Mr Ecclestone is asking’.

      3. Sick Elvis says:

        That’s because FOTA weren’t capable of starting a war – there was far too much in-fighting.

        People have done nothing but take cheap shots at Mosely for years and forget how he transformed F1 – he lifted it from the doldrums and ensured that it was a world-wide hit and the pinnacle of motorsport – without him it would have died.

        Simply put, he had the best interests of F1 at heart (whether you agreed with him or not that’s a fact) – this is something that can certainly not be said of FOTA.

        FOTA in the main are moneymakers not sportsmen and remember, Ferrari aside, those who were making the biggest fuss about having more control in F1 were the first to jump ship.

        Badmouthing Mosely is lazy – he wore his heart on his sleeve and that always makes you vulnerable to attack but in my mind it’s much better than hiding your hand – which really, is tantamount to deceitful.

  16. M__E says:

    maybe if they turn their team number upside down they will have better luck..

  17. Shane says:

    Think I had a flash forward. Saw this coming 6 months ago lol

  18. steve wolff says:

    While the whole affair is sad I will at least cut Ken a **bit** of slack if his allegation that the initial tub design was TO complex. Still if blame is to be placed I would place it on how LATE the whole crazy FOTA break away thing went on and on and on thereby leading to USF1 not possessing the go ahead and therefore a Business Model until September 09!!!!!.

  19. David says:

    Finally some credible info from USF1; unfortunately its not positive. This jibes with what someone recently posted on a message board – i.e., that Ken is a control freak and difficult to work for. Its all very unfortunate for all American F1 fans, as it appears our hopes for our own team have been dashed.

  20. Duncan says:

    It’s tragic, but many whispers have been saying this for months. I just feel for the staff. With a competent manager, they could have possibly pulled it off. I just hope they can find other employment soon.

  21. ARVI says:

    Autosport has also mentioned that sauber f1 team hasnt been listed on the 2010 entry list.

    that implies sauber taking USF1 place and Stephen GP the last team to enter the competition

    1. Stephen Kellett says:

      Nope.

      That is an administrative detail due to when the entry list was published (3 days before Sauber granted their entry).

      Sauber have an entry, they are not taking anyone’s place, except their own.

      Full details on Joe Saward’s website.

    2. Med says:

      Apparently that’s down to the FIA having not yet got around to updating the list they created in November and Sauber only got their confirmation the next month.

      For a sport based around speed, it seems everyone takes their merry time in getting things sorted

    3. Phil C says:

      As Stefan GP have proven, Sauber wouldn’t have tyres and be testing if they didn’t have an entry…

  22. Darren says:

    James a yes or no answer please.

    Will we see USF1 racing this year.

      1. Andy Edwards says:

        Hi James;

        For Lola, (experienced open wheel chasis manufacturer with F1 experience), & Prodrive, (David Richards who needs no justification for credibility), to not be in F1 due to slots being handed to Campos & USF1 instead is a ‘mockery’ of the FIA, (MAX MOSLEY!!!!!!!!!) selection process, which I always feared was ‘tainted’ & more Max settling old scores & ‘other interests.
        We knew this would happen just because Max had chosen them……..
        JAMES: What is you thought on, (on reflection), why no Prodrive & Lola selection etc & th damage the current fiasco, (with 3 weeks to go), is doing t F1 & it’s corporate sponsor base ?
        I would really appreciate a reply with your thoughts.

    1. Pierre says:

      How could we seen them: still no car (but Bridgestone tyres!), seen nothing of the team, who would accept to drive considering the current situation? Very very unlikely…
      I wonder how much having the team established in the US instead of UK where the core of the sport is might also be one of the reason of this mess.

  23. Ted I says:

    How many of us in the real world (engineering/project delivery in my case) have not seen a Dilbert style pointy-haired boss screw up projectss (and careers of talented but idealistic technical staff)? Not many I would guess. For all the visionary-risk taking-entrepreneurs who succeed, there are 1000′s who fail miserably. Too bad our beloved Peter is one of them.

    1. america the beautifull says:

      beloved?! may be for you in the us that watch the guy on speed tv. But for many here in europe, he is more than burned.

      1. Ted I says:

        Burned? Not sure what that means but it sounds something like “quite unpopular”. Why is that? Was it for what he’s done with this USF1 “effort” which prevented more prepared teams an entry?

        He came across as quite engaging and likeable to us on Speed. I wasn’t aware he had alienated anyone during his prior work.

    2. Drezman says:

      Beloved.. Read forums much????

  24. Paige says:

    James,

    Not to invite you to potentially get yourself in trouble with people you know, but…

    Is there anything about the tone of the “anonymous” employee’s comments indicating to you that it may be Peter Windsor?

    I think it’s suspicious that Autosport- perhaps the leading publication in all of F1- has the report. Windsor has been around F1 for a long time, and he would know to whom to leak something. Furthermore, SpeedTV, where Windsor used to work, has been getting a lot of the scoop on the team’s troubles for weeks.

    Blame of one individual for an operation’s failures is typical when two partners go into it together.

      1. Tim Lockhart says:

        On USF1′s Youtube videos a chap named Jason Anderson (Design Director) didn’t look all that happy and convincing when Bob Varsha interviewed him.

        Whether it’s him or not is pure speculation but you can tell by the body language of some of the guys who were interviewed something wasn’t right.

      2. James Allen says:

        He”s Ken’s son, I believe

  25. Chris R says:

    It’s more than obvious there are problems, it’s like that moment on stage when the curtain is meant to be raised. Instead you hear panicked voices, the curtain move as people work behind it.

    Not knowing exactly what is happening, but whatever it is, it shouldnt be happening.

    Sooner or later the curtain will be raised fully, safe to say it wont be a professional team and F1 car ready for racing behind it.

    This drip drip of bad stories isnt good, they should take control of the situation, sadly another pointer to how things are going.

  26. F1ART says:

    Don’t know about a leak, it sounds more like a deluge to me!

    1. america the beautifull says:

      and not even the rescue teams can save anybody this time. may be we’ll see an american team want to be, again at the end of the decade.

  27. Proesterchen says:

    I don’t get how you go from “our management sucks, we’re months behind schedule, and out of money” and turn it into a credible plea for more money from your initial investor. That’s a load of bull.

    If they had something to show for the work they did, if there was a car somewhere, only needing finishing touches to go racing, then maybe, MAYBE, such plea could resonate. (see: Campos et al.)

    But according to this insider’s story, the lack of cashflow is not the only show-stopper at AlphabetsoupF1. And who’s going to read this and go ‘Hell yeahs, I’m going to put 10 Million into this cestpit of a company!”?

    This company seem to have hit the end of the road, and I hope most of the employees got the message early, and started looking around a while ago. This guy supposedly realized that things were heading the wrong way in Dec, and the whole shop seemingly knew they were working on an impossible schedule early in the year.

    So many different things would have to go just right in order for AlphabetsoupF1 to make it to the grid this year, things that aren’t just unlikely, but implausible, that I’d argue this project is done.

  28. Alex says:

    James, I just don’t quite understand why any combination of USF1, Campos Meta and/or Stefan GP merge? could you shed some light on why dual backing, dual location and double the production epuipment/plans along with two confirmed drivers isn’t better than sticking it out by yourself and struggling to make a race?

    1. Ilanin says:

      Well, USF1 can hardly claim to be an American team if merged with Campos, and anyone merging with Stefan will be extremely unpopular with Ferrari and McLaren if nobody else given various people who Stefan are employing.

      1. Alex says:

        fair point. It all comes down to them all being too proud in the end. that’s a bit sad but also very typical for f1 i guess. thanks!

  29. AlexD says:

    This is massive! All I can say….simply wrong people in the Leadership Team. I know the business and it is comes to who is the leader.

    1. Dale says:

      The wrong leadership was at the FIA with Max Mosley he was a total disaster and he is responsible for the mess with both teams leaving and new teams entering not being fit for purpose :!:

      1. lucifer says:

        i agree. And even if i was wrong, i would agree. His only achievement was on safety, and we the fans consider f1 too safe, so he hurt us on that one too.
        He is a disgrace, and i am glad he is not longer arround.

  30. Andrew S says:

    Is this the voice of a disgruntled employee?
    Whether it is or not they are not “team” orientated. This leak will hardly give the USF1 team confidence. Nor attract sponsorship/investors.

    Whoever leaked they should put their hands up come clean and get out of F1.

    Best of luck to USF1.

  31. Alistair Blevins says:

    I’ve noticed USF1 have been bleating more and more recently about the late resolution of the FIA/FOTA conflict of ’09 as a reason for the woes within the team.

    What was the direct impact of this on USF1, did it stop them from putting the necessary team and funding together?

    I was somewhat aghast watching the Speed TV interview James posted a while back, and now my thoughts have been compounded by this torpedo from within.

    Seems Ferrari were right.

    Wonder if we’ll see a headline appearing in a red-top using the pun “Charlotte’ans”…

    1. Phil C says:

      I don’t see how hard it is when you consider that Manor were granted an entry, and they only applied because of the budget cap. Then Virgin came along, and they’ve announced they’ll only be running for around £40 million

      I don’t see how the row and the financial aspect of the row can be an excuse.

  32. DanielC says:

    Aw come on how hard is it? Get that engine and some carbon fiber, slap some wheels on it and cover it in stars and stripes. But seriously I can’t imagine how failing so miserably on such a large stage must feel.

  33. John Glynn says:

    I agree wrong leadership. I was talking to some connected ‘gentlemen’ racers on a US feature trip last October and they said then Anderson would ruin it as that is his form. Crystal ball stuff.

  34. Just A Bloke (Martin) says:

    For what its worth I actually want a US team to be in F1 and do well. Keep us Europeans on our toes !

    Look at the the bigger picture everybody lets cut hem some slack and focus on success. Beign realistic four races wont cut it judging by the mess they are in. If they can find the fundign let them sit out the year and come back next year, but there MUST be tangible progress throughout this year.

  35. Steve J says:

    A real shame and a damning indictment of the team management. The chances of USF1 making it to the grid this year now seem to be all but zero. It really does put into perspective what Lotus and Virgin have achieved in such a short space of time whatever their pace in Bahrain.

    I don’t believe the Stefan outfit should be allowed to race in USF1′s place. Why should Stefan be granted the final grid slot over the likes of Prodrive? David Richards’ credentials in motorsport are among the best, and he seems far better qualified and positioned to run an F1 team than Stefan. There’s also a point of equity here: Stefan was rejected by the FIA in its initial assessment like Prodrive. Given that, on what basis should Stefan be permitted to compete in F1 ahead of Prodrive?

    If USF1 can’t race this year, the FIA should re-open the contest for the final slot with the new entrant coming to the grid in 2011. Applications should be made public (as far as possible) and the FIA’s deliberations open to the press and public so that proper scrutiny of the selection process can take place – I’m thinking more Olymic bids than “F1 Factor”!

    1. Carl says:

      Weren’t Lola, Stefan and Prodrive rejected not because of their proposals or operations or capabilities, but because new entrants HAD to use Cosworth engines.

  36. Kieran says:

    James,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and may I say that its insight and clarity is a joy. I also think it’s excellent that you reply to the posts beneath, engaging in debate when so few commentators actually do.

    Bravo, sir.

    It’s a sad case for USF1, but it seems if you have bad management that can scupper a project.

    Do you know if Campos have taken delivery of their car from Dallara yet? If so, do we know if it is crash tested and everything else, or is it still in bits?

    1. Tom Adams says:

      It has passed the crash test. They are going to shakedown in Italy over the next couple of days i read..

    2. James Allen says:

      Thanks. It’s all happening pretty quickly at the moment. I think there will be some sort of merger shortly.

  37. Ben G says:

    RIP USnotinF1.

    It’s a shame they stuck to the name USF1; it will forever put American teams off getting into F1.

    Still, contrary to what Ferrari thinks, the travails of the new teams is probably better for F1. The stories are great, and they sure beat the dull PR machines of the manufacturers for entertainment.

  38. MEF says:

    James – from what I have seen and read of Peter Windsor, the man seems to have a hugely inflated ego and strikes me as a blowhard.

    I have watched his video profile on the team’s website and it is quite frankly embarrassing.

    He now seems to have not only duped F1 fans and the FIA, but more disgracefully, a 60+ strong work-force.

    I don’t think this was ever a serious projects and believe that some sort of punishment should be handed out. The more draconian the better.

    James – I’m sure you won’t want to comment too much, but do you have any personal experience with Peter Windsor?

  39. Road of Bones says:

    A great shame to read all this – I was hoping to see them make the grid.

    It’s all very well to say that Prodrive should get the slot, but 2 weeks isn’t really enough time for them to build 2 cars, is it?

    The Ferrari “horse whisperer” does have a point about the FIA new team selection process…

  40. Bim / Sweden says:

    From what i have read this far even if they manage to get a car on the grid it will be so slow that they wish they haden’t.
    Comon F1 is THE pinnacle of motorsports not something “simple” and “fast” to produce.
    Would have been fun to see USF1 but seriously they should be thrown out of this years championship so that the message is clear, if your going to F1 you better mean it and be well prepared.

    By the way James i really enjoy reading your articles, great job.

  41. James Bond says:

    James,
    Does the name Mladen Jergovic mean anything to you?
    He is a part of USF1 operation and i saw him quiet confident about everything last week…
    I believed him and now this story?… Hm

    1. James Allen says:

      It does and he’s been in touch lately, but I don’t think he’s working for them..

  42. Richard S says:

    Its really annoying that this poorly planned attempt of starting an f1 team has come down to the last minute almost preventing another team to replace them. Hopefully they will step aside asap to give Stefan GP a chance (they seem a lot more serious) and will give the Toyota engine another go. They are using the Toyota engine aren’t they James?

    Really hope this gets resolved soon as we were promised a full grid!

    Great site James has been a savior over the winter.

    Rich

  43. James W says:

    This will be a massive blow to bring back F1 to the USA. They cant get a team together in what should be the best market of anywhere in the world (barring the Middle East) right now.

    Americans (and Canadians to a degree) are far more interested in sports that only “they” play, such as Hockey, American Football and Champ Car, but are less interested in taking part in more global sports. A sad state of affairs

  44. Maurice A says:

    I truly love this article. Finally to hear a constructor to comment on the matter which was good, because to see how they feel and what they say on this. I think its good they are being honest and because of this they are being slammed by others. I like the idea of the new teams but put teams in that have the financial backing. I like the ending of this article when it says ” Was it all worth it?” Because it wasn’t it all worth it because we got the proper teams out, we got people who have been involved in scandals and we got teams who are in it for the short-term and not the long-term. I think personally has every right to say what ever they like on this matter because they are part of the formula 1 paddock and have a responsibility to show their feelings to their fans and sponsors. Ok, they could have said it a lot less harsher but isn’t that the reason we love F1 so much? Because of the personalities, the passion and the love for racing.

  45. Isotope9 says:

    According to the following Road & Track article, Ken Anderson and Peter Windows have split:

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/racing/motorsports/us-f1-in-deep-trouble

  46. Frenchie says:

    It is a real shame USF1 won’t make it to the grid. I very much Peter Windsor’s idea/concept of making Formula 1 more opened.

    What this leak shows is that a good idea needs good project management people. People with the ability to stand up for their work and deadline instead of yeasayers.

    The funny thing is a similar concept called AUSF1 would have fared much better.

    We have talented drivers (Webber, Riccardiello), a Grand Prix (sorry American friends), we are accessible, friendly, professional, down to earth, etc. We could hire Peter Windsor, who after all, is Australian and couple him with Paul Stoddart (what an idea) instead of Ken (who?) Anderson.

    Knowing Paul and his big mouth, we would have always been aware of their progress.

    Unfortunately, USF1 probably never enjoyed enough American support (although isn’t Argentina part of the Americas?) to get it off theground properly.

    Now that Locstein has thown the towel, an announcement on the demise of the team that never was is only imminent.

  47. F1ART says:

    It has been announced in an Argentine publication by Felipe McGough that talks are going on between US F1 investor Chad Hurley Jose Ramon owner of Campos and Carabante which would include a deal to see Lopez race at Campos

  48. IronMike72 says:

    A sad commentary on what is a gross failure in leadership. As a U.S.fan this is embarrassing beyond belief.

    James-
    As a further note on this what are your thoughts on the rampant anti-American vitrol that has been prevasive on a lot of the blogs about USF1?

  49. Connor McKinley says:

    Lopez’s manager is in talks with Campos Meta, seems Chad Hurley is being linked with some involvement as well, not looking good for USF1. Be interesting to see a response to the situation from the FIA soon

  50. Gareth says:

    You are absolutely right

  51. Kevin M says:

    Interesting to see on Autosport an article from the manager of Jose Maria Lopez regarding his talks with Campos.

    I thought this was the most interesting statement:

    “Both Chad Hurley and Jose Carabante talked for several hours to find a solution for the budget issues both teams have. For us this merger is very important as it works in favour of Lopez racing this year.”

    Surely this would mean Campos and US F1 were to merge. Would love to hear your thoughts James.

  52. jacktors says:

    Interesting, but hardly a shocker…poor planning at USF1? NO..it cant be…

  53. Ahlapski says:

    It is a shame … but it has been brewing for a while. I totally agree with you, James, I think Chad Hurley would be wised to put his money in Campos; since funding is what they need.

    But USA has never fully embraced F1; and I don’t think this will happen in the near future.

  54. Mark Crooks says:

    I think for F1 to succeed in the US the IRL needs to first improve and make a big dent in NASCAR. Once IRL is in better shape with quality drivers then I would like to see the FIA and IRL to work together.

    Imagine if we could see an IRL race and an F1 race at the same venue at the same weekend. I think that would definately draw in the crowds and both racing series would benefit.

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      Beer and pretzels with wine and cheese anyone?

  55. JohnBt says:

    The worst case scenario….there’ll still be 22 cars on the tracks, much better than 26 with too much breakdowns which will send the safety car scrambling and kill the race situation. What’s the point of backmarkers getting lapped continuosly. I’d rather watch decent finishes even for the new teams not just numbers. If StefanGP makes it, 24 cars, not to bad right?. Last testing sessions then it’s Bahrain!!!

  56. Ashley Edwards says:

    I think that even if the FIA let them start the season in spain i don’t think they would make it.

  57. Mark Vadnais says:

    At least Bruno Senna’s management team didn’t entrusted his Formula 1 entry to Peter Windsor and USF1. Thank god they were smart enough to grab the second worst option. As Kobayashi, Buemi and Petrov move forward properly with their F1 careers, Bruno Senna is off track, going nowhere.

    Mark

    1. Alex says:

      If Campos gets through the season with a half-decent effort, Bruno will surely become a more interesting asset for having a year experience under his belt in a back marker team. Think of some of the current drivers who came in through Minardi.

      Let’s just hope he doesn’t mess it up ‘a la Nelson’

  58. Lee R says:

    Hi James

    I would really love to know what you think about this. I’m really annoyed that a sport I love is looking like such a joke.

    Do you think USF1 should have their place taken away and if so, should it be given to Stefan GP?

    Or

    Should they be allowed to de-value F1, de-value being an F1 Team and turn up in four races time (aka when they feel like it), at the same time as there being a team (Stefan GP)ready to race?

    1. rpaco says:

      “There has been precious little in the way of formal planning and documentation. No production schedules, simply very little in the way of planning,” said the source.
      They would fit right in, here in Lincolnshire!

  59. OppositeLock says:

    Thank You for posting this James. There has been precious little in the media here in the US. Especially from SPEED television where Peter Windsor worked for years. It was quite obvious that something wasn’t right from the silence from the team. And the complete silence from SPEED other than Bob Varsha doing interviews for the team’s web site. I confess I am bitterly disappointed with all of this. It will make the creation of another US team that much harder and highly unlikely anytime soon. What a disaster!

  60. Tim says:

    James,

    With the FIA’s visit to USF1′s factory complete (at least that my understanding) do you have any idea how long it will be before we hear something official from the FIA? I cannot believe the FIA would let this situation drag on.

    Also, would the FIA really give Stefan GP an entry for 2010? Would’t the FIA be setting themselves up for potential lawsuits from those that also applied and weren’t selected. I know Stefan has the former Toyota car, but would that make them a better selection than say Prodrive, Lola, etc.? If I were in the FIA’s shoes, I know I’d be very concerned with the potential fallout of a Stefan GP entry this year.

    What are your thoughts?

  61. Tom Weaver says:

    Does anyone else think Peter Windsor looks like MacGyver? If anyone can produce an F1 car from a few bits of junk, Macguyver can. It’d make a good YouTube clip.

  62. Tom Weaver says:

    Does anyone else think that Peter Windsor looks like MacGyver? If anyone can build an F1 car from a few bits of junk, McGyver can. Would make a good YouTube clip.

  63. Robert Powers says:

    To enter Formula One and not understand the scope?By seasoned professionals?With United States in the title?If USF1 competed for a few seasons and had to withdraw,I would understand.The realities of this sport are clear.Then comes Formula One.But to not make the grid after all the hoopla-?????

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