A year after the ill fated USF1 programme to get an American Formula 1 team, the Cypher Group has officially submitted an entry to be the 13th team on the grid next year.
They will be competing for the place alongside ex-Benetton team manager Joan Villadelprat’s Epsilon Euskadi and Stefan GP. The conditions are tough though, with ART GP deciding this week not to submit an entry. The winning bid will be announced in a few weeks time.
“We have officially submitted our candidature and hope that we will shortly be selected by the FIA as the 13th entry in the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship” said a Cypher team statement; “We aspire to bring America’s red, white, and blue back into Formula One. ”
There have been stories that the Cypher entry may also bring the Playboy brand into Formula 1.
On Cypher’s website is a message which must have been there since before the entry was submitted, ” We will only place an entry to compete in the 2011 F1 world championship should we fully achieve the budget we believe is necessary to do this properly. We are not in this to embarrass America, the fans or ourselves. We simply want to give America the shot it deserves. We can do it.”
Cypher rises from the ashes of the USF1 project, with some of the same personnel involved, but not Ken Anderson or Peter Windsor. USF1 was fined and banned recently by the FIA, but this ban does not extend to the personnel involved, only the team.
Although there is set to be a US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas in 2012 and Formula 1 is still talking about trying to establish a second venue in order to crack America. It is going to be very tough for a new team next season as the 107 % qualifying rule is now back, so there is a strong chance that they won’t even be on the grid for the first few races, especially given the tight time frames from now. If ART GP, which has a track record of the highest quality in GP2 and F3 spanning many years, has decided that it’s a tall order then what hope have the rest of these teams got?
After the US F1 debacle and the struggles of Hispania Racing, funding is sure to be a key consideration when the FIA makes its choice.
I don’t know much about Cypher, but will be finding out more over this weekend in Silverstone.