Date registered: Oct 2005
Vehicle: 107, 115, 116, 123, 124, 126
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
USF1 management lied to staff A senior staff member at USF1 claims the new American outfit have done "very little in the way of planning" in the past few months.
The financial problems at USF1 though seems to go as far back as October, according to the staff member.
"Going back to early December, it was pretty evident that something was up, in as much as we kept expecting a big push in production starting some time in mid-December, but it never materialized," he told Autosport on condition of anonymity.
"Figure [that] we're all pretty experienced in various aspects of car design and build, and we all know what it takes from a time-line standpoint. So when it became apparent the drawing office wasn't releasing drawings at the rate we expected, it started to become clear we could be in trouble.
"All engineering decisions were having to be funneled through [Ken] Anderson before anything could be signed off. And that's where the hold up was.
"Tooling for the tub was completed in early December, but then it sat for nearly a month before the laminate schedules for the outer skin were approved.
"Now Anderson himself wasn't designing the laminate schedule, but he was in the wings... as early as last October the production manager was collared about the lack of resources, but the managers were put off by saying: 'Well, Ken has a plan'.
"The irony of all this is that there has been precious little in the way of formal planning and documentation. No production schedules, simply very little in the way of planning."
He added: "Our January 15 pay check was late. It was paid by the 20th or so, but it certainly caused commotion and people started asking questions.
"That's when all the company's issues came to a head, and the conclusion was... yes, we had been lied to about the long-term budget, and indeed the company had a cash flow issue. But as mentioned, that really was a secondary issue.
"Think of it this way, ignoring the fact that we were lied to about the budget, if you don't have a car or can't show serious progress in that direction, potential sponsors aren't going to have a tendency to give you money.
"At the moment there are still 60 people working in Charlotte, but 10 have already left."
Team principal Anderson told Autosport that everyone knew what they were getting into when they signed up.
"The story that the employee tells is certainly twisted and one-sided," he said. "There are also contradictions. Everybody that signed up here knew exactly what they were getting into, i.e. to have two cars on the track in Bahrain."