Martin Whitmarsh, who on Sunday will take over as McLaren team principal, has welcomed the USF1 initiative of broadcaster Peter Windsor and former Ligier engineer Ken Anderson.
In a spirit of togetherness and encouragement which sums up the mood of the times at the moment with all teams sticking together and backing each other, Whitmarsh said that the USF1 team could only be a good thing for F1 because the sport must have a race and a presence in America, as the world’s No 1 marketplace.
“A United States-based Formula One team, ideally fielding at least one United States-born driver, would be an excellent vehicle via which all Formula One stakeholders could make important promotional and commercial inroads into what remains the world’s biggest economy,” he said.
“For that reason alone, we at McLaren Mercedes applaud Peter Windsor’s and Ken Anderson’s efforts to set up their all-new USF1 team, and I’m sure the management of all Formula One teams feel the same way.”
USF1 has already had talks with several manufacturers about a supply of £5 million engines and £1.5 million gearboxes, McLaren’s partner Mercedes is already committed to Force India and could be about to supply Team Ross Brawn, if the great man can make the numbers add up and buyout Honda. I’m hearing that it’s looking more positive in the last few days, with some Middle Eastern money involved…
Incidentally, some of the F1 journos are not at all happy about this spirit of harmony between teams since FOTA (the teams’ association) came into existence.
Hatred, backbiting and internecine warfare make great copy, Ferrari and McLaren having a group hug does not. Space is tight in the papers anyway these days with lower ad revenues meaning fewer pages for all papers. They could really do without the teams loving each other…