Time running out for US F1? - Page 4 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #31 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by F1Bobby View Post
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.

The reason that the US has no F1 race is mainly Bernie. It took Canada a long time to accept his unreasonable terms to put on the F1 in Montreal. The US race track owners/promoters are not willing to accept his demands....Good for them....
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post #32 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 04:52 PM
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Yep, it's probably 75% Bernie's fault! As long as he can find new places in Asia and middle east that are willing to spend countless millions to host a race, it's going to be tough to make a good deal on this side of the pond!
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post #33 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 05:54 PM
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I agree! Bernie has screwed up F1 for years and more so as far as an F1 race in the U.S. He needs to go and soon...
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post #34 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 06:18 PM
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The Troubles At US F1
by Jonathan Ingram

Given the events of the past seven days, it's difficult to predict precisely how things will turn out for US F1, especially now that the attention is once again focused on the track and testing at Barcelona for the upcoming world championship season.



Ken Anderson, Jose Maria Lopez and Peter Windsor. Photo by US F1 Team.


There are some established facts in the rearview mirror that shed light on what is a very difficult and tenuous situation for US F1 at best and more likely an impossible scenario.

What has gone wrong to this point has become clear beyond the fact there's no chassis available for the season-opening event in Bahrain on Mar. 14. To make matters worse, it's a two-part problem.

The vision of founder Ken Anderson to establish a team in the middle of the technology of NASCAR valley in the new era of a lower cost F1 was indeed a good one. Unfortunately, it was under-funded and mismanaged.

That's what will make any decision by sanctioning body FIA about the future of US F1 difficult. The FIA's technical delegate Charlie Whiting has visited the team's shops in the Charlotte area for a first-hand look at both the capacity of the facility and the progress of the yet-to-arrive Type 1 chassis. It will be clear to him, as others who have visited, that the facility and the veteran workers on hand are fully capable of producing a car. But when -- and with what financing?

Despite a staff deep in F1 experience and capacity, team principal Ken Anderson created a bottleneck on all fronts with micro-management. Some employees and ex-employees have been quoted off the record about the difficulties at US F1 when it came to getting a production schedule in place and executing on the parts and pieces. Others familiar with the situation confirm these comments are accurate. The key issue has been the slow manner in which Anderson and his son Jason Anderson -- who is the team's design director -- have issued the drawing plans. Also, there's been a fair number of re-do's.

Is there any way for primary investor Chad Hurley to help right the ship and sustain operations in Charlotte? He, too, is part of the problem in that his initial funding was not enough to get the team to the grid and he has not been able to capitalize on what was supposed to be an active role in locating sponsorship.

There may be some incentive for the FIA to maintain the US F1 team's position among the maximum of 13 teams allowed to participate under the Concorde Agreement. The FIA needs to sustain avenues for new teams to enter the sport in an economy that remains uncertain and unpredictable for the foreseeable future. If US F1 is abandoned, will it hamper future efforts by privateers without factory backing?

On the other hand, if Campos Meta moves forward with its Dallara chassis and Cosworth engines under the ownership of Spanish businessman Jose Ramon Carabante and under the direction of F1 veteran Colin Kolles, that would give the FIA three of its four new teams on the grid.

The FIA could also have an incentive to sustain the 13 signees of the Concorde to avoid a legal hassle with Stefan GP, which has already sued under European Union regulations after it finished second to Peter Sauber in the bid to fill the slot vacated by Toyota's withdrawal from the sport. Finally, in the ever-changing power struggle at the top, there may be some incentive to demonstrate the FIA runs the series and not necessarily Ecclestone's Formula One Management.

But how would US F1 continue on a project that's already been mismanaged? If the team has not been able to sign commercial sponsorship when its halo was still shining brightly, what hope is there for the future? If the team was given the time -- as requested by Anderson -- and managed to put together a car in time for the Spanish GP in May, it would be light years behind the other teams in development. The same vicious cycle would likely begin again when it comes to developing the car and catching up.

Now that Campos Meta's appears to be headed for the grid in a reasonable time frame, it seems highly likely that sponsored Argentinean driver Jose Maria Lopez will exercise his legal option (there's no car at US F1...) and switch to the Spanish team.

What about the remaining members of the US F1 team, who hitched their lives and careers to the Anderson wagon like so many others in this sad affair?

Is this the end in the near term for any U.S. involvement in F1? That, too, is an incentive to find some avenue forward.

At this stage, who among those involved -- from the FIA to FOM and the team members in Charlotte -- would want to attempt to go forward with Anderson? Would it even help if he tried to move the team into the hands of Hurley and leave in favor of new management and a new design director?

It's indelibly sad to see one man's dream crumble in plain sight, especially when the dream was very close to being attainable and had so much support from so many quarters in U.S. racing.

But so it goes.
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post #35 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by calgary View Post
The reason that the US has no F1 race is mainly Bernie. It took Canada a long time to accept his unreasonable terms to put on the F1 in Montreal. The US race track owners/promoters are not willing to accept his demands....Good for them....
After the Silverstone contract was renewed, circuit management complained of having learned the terms of the Canada GP deal too late. Canada got the better deal.
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post #36 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-28-2010, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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VIDEO: USF1 Asks For Delay Until 2011

VIDEO: USF1 Asks For Delay Until 2011
Written by: SPEED Staff
SPEEDtv.com
02/28/2010
Charlotte, NC

Video at FORMULA-ONE - VIDEO: USF1 Asks For Delay Until 2011 - SPEEDtv.com



SPEEDtv.com has learned that the struggling start-up USF1 Formula 1 team has formally petitioned the FIA to defer the team's entry into the sport until 2011.

Team principals Ken Anderson and Chad Hurley have offered to post a “substantial, seven-figure” surety bond as proof of their intentions to race next year.

The request for a deferment follows a breakdown in merger discussions between USF1 and the Spanish Campos Meta team. The Serbian-based Stefan GP team also had made overtures about working with USF1, but those talks also failed to yield anything substantive.

It now appears that neither USF1 nor Campos will be on the grid for the season-opener at Bahrain.

Contrary to media speculation elsewhere, Hurley is still very much
involved in the USF1 effort.

SPEEDtv.com will continue to follow this story as it develops.
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post #37 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 08:40 AM
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More drama!
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post #38 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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F1: USF1 Had Signed Rossiter As Well As Lopez

FORMULA-ONE - F1: USF1 Had Signed Rossiter As Well As Lopez - SPEEDtv.com

F1: USF1 Had Signed Rossiter As Well As Lopez
Written by: Adam Cooper
NASCAR News, F1 News, and Racing News on SPEED - SPEEDtv.com Date: 03/01/2010 - 06:54 AM
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Further evidence of the apparent mismanagement at USF1 has come with the confirmation that the team had not one but two fully sponsored drivers signed up well before the start of the season – and yet still couldn’t manage to build a car in time.

The team announced on January 25 that it had signed Jose Maria Lopez, but it never officially confirmed that in December it had also agreed a deal with former Honda test driver James Rossiter.

While there were rumors that Rossiter was in the frame for the other seat – thanks to Lopez’s management telling the Argentinean media – the deal was in fact signed and sealed. Both drivers were committed to bringing $8m, a large chunk of which was to be paid before the first race, as is standard practice.

However sources have confirmed to SPEEDtv.com that in early February Rossiter’s backers sought reassurances that everything was going to plan in Charlotte, and sufficient funding was in place.

When USF1 was not able to provide those guarantees, Rossiter withdrew from the deal.

Days later USF1 had a showdown with Lopez’s management, and confirmed to the driver that the team would not make Bahrain. At that point also Lopez pulled out and went to Europe to look for an alternative seat. Lopez’s management has since complained that the team must have known the situation when the deal was signed.

Certainly the fact that USF1 failed to build a car on time – despite signing contracts with two drivers with F1 testing experience with a combined value of $16m – would suggest that something about the project was deeply flawed.

Rossiter has since signed up with the KVRT IndyCar team.

Adam Cooper notched up his 25th season as a racing journalist in 2009. Born in London, England, he saw his first F1 race at age 10 in 1976. He began freelancing for Autosport magazine in 1985 and was on the fulltime staff from 1987-92. He then went freelance again, initially spending two years in Japan before following the 1994 Champcar series from a base in Indianapolis. He has not missed a Grand Prix since Suzuka ‘94, a run that has extended to Abu Dhabi ’09. Adam has written books about Eddie Irvine, Piers Courage and Michael Schumacher and hosts a race preview show on Sirius XM. He has written about F1 for SPEEDtv.com since 2005. Check out Adam’s Blog or follow him on Twitter

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post #39 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 05:55 PM
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This is like soap opera!
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post #40 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 10:57 AM
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Lopez exits USF1 contract, eyes Friday role with Campos (GMM) Jose Maria Lopez has set his sights on becoming reserve driver in 2010 at the new team currently known as Campos.
Victor Rosso, who is part of the Argentinean driver's entourage, told Cadena 3 Cordoba radio that manager Felipe McGough has been working on extracting the 26-year-old from his contract with the failing USF1 team.

It is expected that Campos, to shortly rename its team Hispania Racing, will contest its debut season this year with Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna in the cockpits.

"There is a big chance he can be the Campos reserve driver," said Rosso.

He also said McGough is working on getting back the $830,000 advance that was paid to USF1.

"Being able to turn the tables at the last moment gives us a little bit of relief, because the past 15 days we have lived would not be wished upon my worst enemy," said Rosso.

Lopez's father and namesake confirmed to Ultima Vuelta that McGough - at USF1's Charlotte base - indeed succeeded in terminating the USF1 contract.

"It was a tricky situation, but now we are free," he said.

"We had to find a solution so that Jose Maria was no longer tied to the US team contract."

McGough said the Lopez group has a "good relationship" with Campos' new owner Jose Ramon Carabante.

"We have already told him that Lopez is free, they are aware of everything, and now we are waiting to see what is decided in Europe.

"We are looking at anything that allows Jose Maria to stay in formula one, also as the reserve driver," said McGough, adding that one possibility is that Lopez could contest the Friday morning practice sessions.

He was particularly critical of the USF1 team principal Ken Anderson.

"Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor will travel to Argentina in the coming days to give all the explanations about everything that happened, since the sole responsibility is theirs.

"The main culprit is Ken Anderson. They deceived the FIA, FOTA, FOM and the Concorde Agreement. The scandal in Argentina is miniscule compared to what is happening in formula one with respect to this issue."
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