Argentine Lopez gets USF1 drive - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Argentine Lopez gets USF1 drive

F1 | Formula 1 | F1 News | F1 Live - Yahoo! Eurosport UK

Argentine Lopez gets USF1 drive

Reuters - Sat, 23 Jan 00:58:00 2010
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Argentine Jose Maria Lopez has been confirmed as a driver for the new Formula One team USF1.
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Lopez, 26, will make his debut for the American team at the Bahrain Grand Prix, the opening race of the 2010 world championship, on March 14.

"Everything has been agreed and the official announcement will be made on Monday," his spokesman Miguel Mattos confirmed.

The news came at the end of several days of meetings between the USF1 team's co-owner Peter Windsor and Lopez's sponsors in the Argentine capital.

Media reports said part of the money Lopez needed to secure a seat with USF1 was being put up by a group of firms that have backed the driver from the start of his negotiations, with added input from the Argentine government obtained late on Friday.

Lopez, a former Renault test driver, will be the first Argentine to race in Formula One since Gustavo Mazzacane, who raced for Minardi in 2000 and Prost in 2001.

Lopez, who is from the northern province of Cordoba, won Argentina's TC2000 and Top Race V6 categories last year.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 09:21 AM
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I don't know why this disappoints me so much. There's just so much good US talent out there, I guess I was either hoping for a US driver or at least someone I've heard of.

So much of the great talent coming up through the open wheel development ranks has either gone sportscar racing or has gone off the radar. It's a shame. If you don't have millions behind you, you can't go racing in F1.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by gerkebi View Post
I don't know why this disappoints me so much. There's just so much good US talent out there, I guess I was either hoping for a US driver or at least someone I've heard of.

So much of the great talent coming up through the open wheel development ranks has either gone sportscar racing or has gone off the radar. It's a shame. If you don't have millions behind you, you can't go racing in F1.
I believe you have a valid point! The other thing is that it appears that American drivers don't have the commitment required for a F1 career.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 01:04 PM
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The commitment is the main point. They want all their luxuries that the US affords them. Sometimes though I wonder if our openwheel youth are being developed for the competition in the F1 world. I have absolutely no doubt that if a US company seriously wanted to win it all it could, but it would require that they would have to expend resources that I dont believe they are willing to.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 01:59 PM
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The commitment is the main point. They want all their luxuries that the US affords them. Sometimes though I wonder if our openwheel youth are being developed for the competition in the F1 world. I have absolutely no doubt that if a US company seriously wanted to win it all it could, but it would require that they would have to expend resources that I dont believe they are willing to.
Spot on!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 07:40 PM
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What drives me crazy is that Windsor claimed they'll never hire anything but american drivers! It turned out they needed the funds more than the national pride!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 09:46 PM
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What drives me crazy is that Windsor claimed they'll never hire anything but american drivers! It turned out they needed the funds more than the national pride!
He fudged that back in February. At that time Windsor didn't rule out signing a non-American driver for USF1's maiden season.

"There is a slight possibility that we might run one experienced driver, therefore by definition not American, in year one, maybe," he said.

"We haven't actually addressed that issue in its entirety."

Sounds like by signing Lopez he contradicted his earlier position of hiring a non American experienced driver.

As these things go, there's a lot of moving parts. In a perfect world he'd have American drivers or at least one.

It would be interesting if McDonald's pulls out of Indycars and takes their money, and Graham Rahal, to USF1 as QBNCGR alluded to in another post. A very slight chance of that happening, but fun to think about.

Graham still has a couple million in sponsorship dollars that have hitched their wagon to Indycars. I would think that would be hard to transfer to F1.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 05:48 AM
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Yeah, I hear you. I would have hired Pedro de la Rosa or Alex Wurtz and one of the three young american open wheel racing stars: Graham, Andretti or Almendinger.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 08:34 AM
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Well, it looks like McDonald's is leaving Indycar. As of today, Graham doesn't have a ride and Newman/Haas/Lanigan is down to one car with Mutoh.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 09:02 AM
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Even though I would never eat at McDonalds, their funds could help USF1 speed up the car building process. Who knows, it's been very surprising so far!
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