The new teams in F1 have been forced on the PR offensive today in light of negative stories about them as the new season approaches. Campos, Virgin and USF1 have come out with some clarifications as the pressure mounts to get their teams on track ahead of the pre-season testing and the first race.
Campos has spoken to the BBC today and set the record straight on his talks with potential last minute investors. He said that with the money due from FOM and from a second pay driver, whom he hoped to sign soon, he would be on budget,
“”We are looking for investors and sponsors but the project is very much alive. We are talking with people who would like to be shareholders, ” he said. “We expect to have more investors. People speak too much and make trouble for us. I don’t want to sell my part of the team and I will remain the team principal – the condition to be a shareholder is to accept all the existing contracts.”
After rumours on the subject over the last 24 hours, Virgin Racing tonight confirmed that it has shed its team principal Alex Tai and John Booth, of Manor Motorsport takes over the role. This is clearly a change of plan as the launch was only a month ago and the team was presented with Tai as its chief, albeit one had the impression that he would probably only do a year or two in the role to bed the team in before moving on to his next assignment in the Virgin group.
Meanwhile there have been rumours, which started in Italy at the weekend, that USF1 had requested a derogation to start the season at the Spanish Grand Prix on May 9. But I checked with the FIA and with the team and this is absolutely untrue. USF1 have rooms booked for Bahrain.
The US F1 team has not been as active on the internet so far as one might have imagined, given that one of the partners of the team is You Tube founder Chad Hurley and that they have an in house studio dedicated to video production and online distribution.
Judging from the fact that the team’s URL is still www.usgpe.com one must surmise that the delays came from problems getting the use of the URL www.usf1.com and after losing a lot of time, they have decided to go ahead with the old URL anyway.
I noticed that in recent days they have redesigned the site and put some new content on it. There is a video with their monocoque undergoing a crash test and another of a tour of the factory.