Time running out for US F1? - Page 3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #21 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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From bad to worse for USF1

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From bad to worse for USF1

Feb.24 (GMM) News about USF1's crumbling formula one team is heading from bad to worse.

It already emerged on Wednesday that, with the American team admitting it is not ready for Bahrain, its lead investor Chad Hurley and well-financed driver Jose Maria Lopez are in serious talks about switching to Campos.

Locstein Group AG, a Geneva based global financial services firm, has now confirmed it will not sponsor the Charlotte based outfit.

"Locstein did engage USF1 regarding sponsorship, but when it was apparent that the team was not able to participate in the entire 2010 season, Locstein elected to withdraw from further involvement with USF1," the company said in a statement.

Another definite departure from USF1 is Brian Bonner, formerly the head of business development.

"USF1 is breaking apart because (team principal) Ken (Anderson) is not able to manage such a project," an anonymous insider who works for the team said in an exclusive interview with Germany's motorsport-total.com.

The insider revealed that ten of USF1's staff have now left the team because they doubt they will be paid as scheduled on Friday, while about 60 remain.

"We hear that sponsor funds could emerge if Ken Anderson goes," he added, also revealing that sporting director Peter Windsor was "rarely at the factory" throughout its development.

Anderson responded by saying the insider's views are "one-sided", while Windsor declined to comment.
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post #22 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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FIA inspects US F1 factory

* Team News

FIA inspects US F1 factory
ESPNF1 Staff
February 25, 2010


Who is Charlie Whiting?

The FIA has sent technical delegate Charlie Whiting to inspect US F1's factory, after reports suggested the Charlotte-based squad is way behind on its chassis build and in financial trouble.

US F1 currently holds an entry to the 2010 world championship but has asked to skip the first four races of the season to get back on schedule. Leaks from inside the team suggest that the situation is as bad as is being reported, and with the season opener just two weeks away, the FIA has decided to act.

Meanwhile Stefan GP, a Serbian outfit with a near race-ready chassis, is still hoping to be granted a spot on the grid for the opening round in Bahrain, possibly in US F1's place. It faced a major setback in its preparations this week when it could not secure a supply of tyres for its private test in the Algarve. In a Reuters article on Wednesday, team boss Zoran Stefanovic appeared to be optimistic that a solution would be found. However, in an interview with the Balkan Insider, Stefanovic didn't seem quite so confident and ruled out the possibility of running on GP2 tyres.

"The [GP2] circuit is also under contract with the FIA, so we can't get their tyres either," he said. "We could get tyres from other manufacturers similar to those used in the Formula One circuit but these are not approved for Formula One and we're not going to take any chances because we could have an accident in testing."

Stefanovic said he is expecting to hear from the FIA by next Wednesday whether his team has been granted an entry. He also said he is very close to confirming Jacques Villeneuve and Kazuki Nakajima as drivers.
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post #23 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 07:14 PM
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I hope FIA will publish a report with the real situation at USF1!
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post #24 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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It only shows how low Formula One sponsorship ranks on the U.S. corporate radar.
The shutting down of both the U.S. and Canadian GP can't have helped.
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post #25 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 08:11 AM
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Canadian GP in June, or so it seems.
FORMULA-ONE - NASCAR News, F1 News, and Racing News on SPEED - SPEEDtv.com

Merger?
FORMULA-ONE - F1: Hurley, Stefan Talking USF1 Merger - SPEEDtv.com

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post #26 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 08:12 AM
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The Canadian GP is back this year and I hope that the USGP will be back next year. I don't get Chad from youtube! Why would you rather go to Campos than USF1. I think we don't know jack of what's happening at USF1, it's fair to assume that Ken screwed things up and Peter decided to walk away!
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post #27 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 08:50 AM
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Stefan poised to take USF1's team entry - rumour
Racing series F1
Date 2010-02-26
By Motorsport.com/GMM


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According to the latest rumours in the unfolding commotion surrounding F1's new and hopeful teams, the FIA is on the verge of taking back USF1's official 2010 entry.

That would free up the thirteenth team slot for the new Serbian outfit Stefan GP, but it might not be as simple as that.

USF1, Campos and Virgin - and later Lotus - were granted their entries after a process of application and due diligence performed by F1's governing body.

With just two weeks until Friday practice begins in Bahrain, granting Stefan an entry for 2010 would have to be fast-tracked, which would not impress some of the teams initially turned down by the FIA.

But multiple sources are reporting that the newly Jean Todt-led FIA is indeed poised to give USF1's entry to the outfit led by the enthusiastic Zoran Stefanovic.

The Serbian reportedly has the help of his government and also Bernie Ecclestone, but another suggestion is that the failed USF1 will be urged to amalgamate with Stefan, clearing the path for a full 26-car grid in that way.

Jacques Villeneuve has cooled Stefanovic's claims that the 1997 world champion is mere days from signing to become Kazuki Nakajima's teammate.

"(Stefan GP) does not have an entry," the French Canadian told France's Auto Hebdo, "but everything seems serious about the team.

"The important thing is for them to get the green light from the FIA for the first race of the season," Villeneuve added.

Mark Webber said the drama unfolding behind the scenes in F1 is not impressive. "I find the situation totally crazy, but that's what happened," the Red Bull driver commented.
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post #28 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 08:53 AM
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Peter windsor is a principal of the company so you have to put blame on his shoulders too. This whole effort was very unlikely from the outset. How could a team seriously compete internationally from a base in Charlotte, NC? Nice place for a NASCAR team but over 5000 miles away from anything but it's "home" gran prix" (Canadian GP - "home" being stretched a bit). They had no real chance of being a top team, in terms of results.

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post #29 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Gray Matter: Is USF1 bad for F1 in US?

Gray Matter: Is USF1 bad for F1 in US?

Fri Feb 26 03:14PM


The all-American dream is fading - and as the new USF1 team fights for its life before it has even turned a wheel, just how damaging could it be for F1's American future?

There is no doubt the United States has its F1 fans, but claiming a significant share of the country's well-packed sports sector has always been tough for grand prix racing - so when Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson announced plans to create a homegrown team there was hope that the sport could finally secure a stronger presence 'across the pond'.

Well before the USF1 dream was begun, crowds flocked to Indianapolis for the F1 race at the famous Brickyard and Red Bull put a significant effort into building on the sport's popularity by launching a search for a US F1 star that could make it to the top of Formula One. But those efforts to drive F1 forwards soon went into reverse.

The Indianapolis crowd revolted in 2005 after just six cars started the race as the other 14 had tyre issues - and just three years later the race was off the calendar. At the same time, great American hope Scott Speed was booted out of F1, in the middle of the 2007 season, after failing to perform at Toro Rosso, and there was little left for the US to focus on.

The diehard fans will always follow the sport, of course, but there is no denying the mainstream sports fan will typically only follow if they have a connection. If the USF1 idea worked, a car draped in stars and stripes could surely be just the connection the mainstream sports fans needed.

But unless miracles happen, USF1 has not worked.

After launching the team, Anderson and Windsor said the chassis would be built by August. It then moved to November/December. It was then due to run for the first time, in the US, in early February. But as March closes in, there is no sign of the team's car in anything other than design drawings.

The delays, the team claims, have been unavoidable - but some of their comments suggest an air of naivety.

Anderson says some issues were caused by having to wait to get their hands on trained F1 staff from other teams. But with lay-offs aplenty before the start of the 2009 season, surely that was avoidable? Political battles were also blamed for delaying design plans, moving the start date from March to August. But while it's true there were some issues, it didn't stop some of the other (failed) applicants for the new grid slots from completing their designs ahead of time.

Ultimately, the USF1 team could suffer from the very determination that grew it in the first place. Anderson is the design driving force, but he has not worked in F1 in 20 years and his only previous projects were Ligier and Onyx. When he launched the latter, he had to push-start it down the pitlane in the opening race.

His reflection back to that moment in a recent F1 Racing interview, suggesting similar things could happen in F1's modern era, does not instil confidence in the strength of the team's confidence; nor does a comment from Windsor claiming, when discussing driver choices, that it's "not going to help us as a start-up operation if a driver's saying 'well, this is how we did it at McLaren'". You would think that would be exactly the kind of direction a new start-up would be looking for.

"I think being at the back may be the best option," joked Windsor in the interview. But some weeks after that, it seems that hope of even being at the back is fading.

Apparent attempts to merge with similarly struggling Campos could yet prevent a stillborn USF1 project, but if the American dream does end before it has begun, it may not have too much of a negative impact on F1's US fan base - because very few people in the team's NASCAR-driven home of Charlotte even know they have a team about to enter the 'pinnacle of motorsport'.

Unfortunately, the bigger danger if it does fail is that the whole experience could put American businesses off investing in the sport in the future.
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post #30 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 01:12 PM
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Sorry to say that (IMHO) the USF1 project is dead and should be buried at this point. There are die hard fans (like me) that will always watch F1 with or without American involvement. The thing I can't understand is why the U.S. cannot support an F1 race. Years ago there were (2) East Coast and West Coast.
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