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New teams strike back at negative rumours
New teams strike back at negative rumours
Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Jan 2010   |  9:32 pm GMT  |  71 comments

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.

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During races you have the ability to rewind time to

correct any driving mistakes or redo a segment of the race.

Other titles you can play with the Wii accessory is

Residential Evil, and Dead Space. Everyone loves finding something before everyone

else, particularly if it’s a delicious secret ‘ that’s the cool thing about stumbling on

an Easter Egg way before any other gamer has and why the internet is full of

spoilers showing them all off.


This does make me laugh. Some people on here make running an F1 team, building one up from scratch, sound so easy. Its not just development of the car and testing, but the logistical side of it aswell. None of that is easy and is very expensive.


Going Grand Prix racing as a private team hasn’t been easy and has been very expensivo for over a hundred years, actually. I wish well to all four and to Campos&Bruno in particular.

Opposite Lock (Ken)

USF1 has asked for a straight line testing extension to make sure the engines fit and run as expected. Good grief! They haven’t even received their engines yet! Never been run in the chassis. Everything from fuel pick up to transmission and ECU all have to be connected for the first time. Then tested to see if it all works properly. Far better to try it all out nearby than ship everything overseas only to find out adjustment have to be made. Even with computer design and sophisticated simulators, there IS a difference between virtual and on-track running. A race car is one of the most harsh environments for electronics. Running on a track is way different than running on a test bed. Give ’em a chance to sort the car before they ship it off to Europe.


I really don’t think people are thinking their comments through. People are complaining about the decor, the lack of engines or models, and other items they would expect to see.

Good grief, the place was just renovated mere months ago. They’ve also never existed before. Are you people expecting to see trophy cases?!? There weren’t any engines present because Cosworth just finished the things.

Seriously, they’re building an F1 team from scratch. I’m sure they have more important things to do than worry about their interior decor.



Watching this video is painful. It looks like a high school technology and design department has decided to go F1 racing. Where are the engineers? Why does the “chief designer” seem embarrassed to be interviewed? Why does the “design office” look like a painted lockup? Why is the factory a bare shell? Peter Windsor may be even more of a fantasist than most of us imagined. I wish USF1 well, but judging from this, it doesn’t look good…

Opposite Lock (Ken)

I believe Peter and Ken have taken a lesson from Jackie Stewart and put their money into the car and not the flash around it. The premises are bare but functional. They will be going flat out to get the car ready while also building their pit crew and support team. Not to mention, shipping containers, trucks, “brand center” which if they are smart will be a tent, while also building a race car. This is a HUGE undertaking to put together in under a year. Toyota and others actually took two years and they had virtually unlimited funding. They have been smart staying out of the spotlight until now. Let’s see where they are in Spain.


I’m glad the rumours of skipping Bahrain were untrue – I did find it hard to believe Peter Windsor would, after so much time and effort, choose to try and miss the opening flyaway races.

James: is there any particular reason USF1 have been so quiet? Is there any truth to the persistent claims they are struggling, or are they just adopting a very laid back, under the radar approach to manage expectations and build up slowly?


Well as I said in the piece, the delay on the URL has had something to do with it


Just as a comparison, this is a video tour of the Red Bull factory… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WrgxeHC228&feature=related

What a difference!! People working at machines, not just desks, components being manufactured, actual evidence of bits of cars being built, items in the autoclaves…and no Peter Windsor!!


I am worried about safety. Team America and Campos could endanger the lives of other F1 drivers if they are just rushing the design of their cars.

Simtek & Ronald Ratzenberger come to mind.


I think a few of the comments here are a bit harsh on the new teams especially those concerning USF1.

It is a mammoth task to build a new team from the ground up and even more so in such a short space of time. All the teams will be prioritizing their tasks and the decor of the offices and equipment is a very low priority right now.

I think it will be very tight for all of the new teams to get to the first race in time but I’m sure they’ll make it – just. Once that target is reached they’ll start to focus on all the other improvemtns that will need to be made.

And what is with the facination and belief that ProDrive and Dave Richards could be any better than the new teams? All we have heard from Dave Richards is alot of hot air, excuses and moaning with no real substance behind it.

If ProDrive were serious they would have been in F1 years ago if they accepted to design a custom chasis or would have been approved for entry this year if they accepted the engine selection restrictions.

They didn’t so they aren’t….simple

How many thought Aguri were a joke of a team when they first started? And how many respected or even loved the team after a season when they started to improve and get into a points scoring position every now and then?

Alot I would say…… so we should be supporting the new teams and give them a chance to compete.


If Team America hadn’t been so jingoistic and chest beating (which is bizarre, considering Windsor’s nationality) in the first place, I think they wouldn’t have so many people, myself included, who wish to see them fail.

If Campos and Team America make it to the grid, I expect them to be so far of the pace of the front runners that they may as well be in the GP2 race.


Most of the negative comments about the new teams is emanating from Italy, now who do we know who’s Italian and hates the new teams with a passion.

Oh yeah, Luca di Montezemolo !!


Just money cannot justify the passion some people have for this sport. Peter has been involved in this business for long enough to take up a huge challenge. Come on guys, even if they don’t make it to the 1st race I have no doubt they will make it to the grid sooner or later. That’s itself a part of the history. Teams like Ferrari, McLaren, BMW, and Renault are too high profile teams. You can’t compare USF1 to those teams already. These guys invested as much as any other teams from their point of view with hard work and whatever the funds they can afford. So they do deserve everyone’s well wishes as well as all the other new teams.

Remind me one F1 season without rumours if you can.


It looks more like a Formula Ford team who lucked out and got a cheap lease in a new building.

Except for Ken Anderson, the team members are obviously not American. It makes me wonder how appealing to American race fans this team will be. When it’s a choice between the good ‘ole boys of NASCAR, the success stories that are Penske, Andretti or Ganassi, this team has its work cut out.

If this team is successful it will be revolutionary by F1 standards…


I feel sorry for Campos and USF1, not least because Bernie, of all people, has been openly questioning their viability for some time now. If I was a potential sponsor, Bernie’s comments would put me off going anywhere near the teams.

Sad to say, though, that these vids are spookily devoid of anything resembling prolonged design or construction activity. Prediction; USnot-inF1.


Check http://www.brunosenna.com.br where Bruno’s own words on 12Jan10 read as follows:

‘Sobre a Campos, podem ficar tranquilos!’

And that’s good enough for me.


there is a team in spain, called epsilon euskadi, run by the very experienced joan villadeprat, that worked at mclaren, ferrari and benetton, among other smaller teams, that has better facilities than renault, had sponsorship agreed for three years, were already working on the car just in case they were granted a slot for 2010. And they were just left to the side.

So mr ecclestone, you must have good reasons to have made the choice you made, but if some of these teams don’t make it, you just have to look in the mirror, to find the person responsible.


Maybe its not just the teams, but perhaps FOM who might have interest in spreading disinformation about the new teams – I mean Bernie hasn’t been particularly subtle in stating that he doesn’t think all the new teams will make the grid! I mean surely its in his interests to make sure they do, so why is he actively talking them down?

I have to admit I also find the Virgin / Manor situation quite interesting – I mean why change your management structure so early on? What’s prompted that? A falling out? Difference of philosophy between a racing team and a sponsor? Undue interference?


Good luck to them, it looks like they will need it.

Still they are Americans and I’m sure that they will do all that they can as they hate losing.


Once upon a time there was a 50 miljon bond to be paid for entering F1. This video from USFGP reminds us why. Certainly Peter Windsor can put a positive spin but says nothing of substance.

Jason Andersson presented as design director seem out of his depth and engine man Mike Draisy looks most embarassed. Seems like a bit of investigate journalism would reveal a good deal more here.


That was like watching a Kimi Raikkonen interview.


It looks very improvised. Like any start-up. No need to worry.

What’s worrying me is the interview with the team members. They look pretty daft, don’t they? They’re not far off from a burn out. And the season has yet to start …

The virgin and lotus team look more passionate, one can feel the vibe from their engineers.

It appears to me that USF1 relies too heavily on the youtube and US brand. Marketing & patriotism. Which is okay, but they should be the icing on the cake, not the other way around.


It does seem very strange. I realise not every team has (or needs) a Mclaren technology centre or whatever they call it, but the “tour of the factory” shows no cars, engines, equipment or tools. Everything is completely bare!

There does at least appear to be a render of an F1 car blu-tacked to the wall at 3:30 though. Let’s hope it’s theirs and not something they printed off from the Internet…


Having just watched the videos I cannot believe these are serious about F1, everything just looks like a bad joke and the interviewer as well as the interviewees looked embarrassed to being recoded on video.

Had Lola or more-so Prodrive been given the slot USF1 does anything not know they would have done a far better job than this lot ❓ 😕

The more I think about it the more I think that all was not well with Mosley’s selection process, the biggest question is why no Prodrive who are clearly ready like no other for F1 now ❓

What disappoints me is the I believe Richards knows all was not well in how his team was overlooked but he’s too gutless to challenge this because, I suspect fear of FIA reprisals.

Although not the best example but Briatore has proven to the world that the FIA is not above the law and the procedures they use in certain circumstances are both not right or legal.

Max Mosley’s FIA was run like it was his private toy for him to do with it what he wanted, how he wanted and when he wanted and sadly with the news that Todt’s FIA is to challenge the Briatore ruling shows me we’re likely to be in more just more of the same and I can’t see FOTA going the distance again and even if they did without the manufacturers I doubt it would carry the same weight as teams like Williams would likely stay as is, what could have been 😉


The criticism you hear most about Dave Richards is that he wasn’t serious – if he was, Prodrive would be in F1 by now – He is only interested in making noise. In fact I’m sure that was Max’s critisism?

To me thats just nuts! They effectively have the team, the location, the facilities, the skills and the will and passion. But not the blessing of Max, or the Cosworth engine…

This was never a transparent or fair selection process – i never understand why the FIA isn’t challenged more in the courts!


As of Campos, I’ve read some interviews here in Spain and I don’t think it’s looking good for them. The Senna move seems to have failed to attract the sponsors they expected, and the target budget has not been reached. By January the 13rd it sure is not the ideal situation…


Being ‘Here in Spain’ doesn’t refrain one from finding out what Bruno himself says:



‘Sobre a Campos, podem ficar tranquilos!’


The design director seems like a charismatic guy, perhaps you could do a more in depth interview with him James.lol.

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