• Aug 9th 2009 at 4:46PM
  • 17
Preparations are well underway for the debut of the new USF1 team, which is set to join the Formula One grid next season. The car's been designed, the manufacturing facility is in the process of ramping up for production, and the team has staffed up. But while the nascent squad focuses on building the chassis and infrastructure, speculation has been running rampant over who will sponsor the team and who will be driving its two cars.
Previous reports indicated that YouTube could be on board, and now the latest suggest that Best Buy, which currently sponsors Elliott Sadler's #19 Dodge Charger for the Richard Petty team in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series, could be in the mix as well. The rumors are fueled by an entry which Barry Judge, the electronics retail giant's chief marketing officer, posted on Twitter asking the public-at-tweet what they thought of the idea of Best Buy – currently is in the midst of a European expansion – linking up with the team.

As for drivers, we're afraid that Danica Patrick is out of the running, as the buxom Indy pilot hasn't expressed much interest and the team says she'd be too high-profile for its inaugural season, in which it'll be focusing on reliability and consistency as opposed to race wins and championship points. So, who's in contention? A few names are being bandied about, including Formula 3 and A1GP race winner Jonathan Summerton and IndyCar race winners Marco Andretti and Buddy Rice, all Americans with open-wheel experience and some measure of international appeal. The team is also considering bringing in veteran Austrian driver Alex Wurz to help with development, but no further mention of Canadian homegrown hero Jacques Villeneuve.

The one thing USF1 is not interested in is pay drivers. Often a lucrative option for start-up teams, pay drivers bring with them enticing sponsorship cash, but while the team was approached by a couple of up-and-comers from the GP2 feeder series, which could have covered three quarters of the team's budget, neither was American, so the team turned them down to stick to their guns. You know, to defend democracy, hoist the stars and stripes and all that.

[Source: Sports Illustrated and F1-Live]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      aaaand americans don't care

      USF1 should not be allowed to compete until americans understand that formula one is not something that you can have commercial breaks in the middle of the race. FOX sports, I'm looking at you.

      plus, since most americans have the attention span of a gold fish, they're not capable to appreciate any sport that doesn't stop after 10 seconds of play. Have you seen baseball?

      we all know american football is rubbish. Playing for 5 seconds and resting for 5 minutes is not a sport. It's what I call urge-to-cut-my-wrists
        • 6 Years Ago
        No commercial breaks in the middle of the race, huh? Why is that? Because of all the heated battling and position changes taking place on the track and NOT in the pits, right?

        Oh wait...
        • 6 Years Ago

        I agree. How can anyone actually watch american handball err football. It is very much I want to slit my wrist type of fun. Nothing like watching grown men slap each other on the butt for 5 seconds worth of effort.

        There is nothing worse than watching MotoGP on tv only to have them cut to commercial and then come back with leader changes.
        • 6 Years Ago
        NFL is rubbish... yeah, ok!! You sound like the geeky, bench warmer, kid that never got picked for a team.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed, please stop with the ads! And Football and Baseball is seriously slow paced and boring.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Can anyone tell me just how YouTube makes money? There aren't that many ads on it, and membership is free!...
      • 6 Years Ago
      AWESOME, that they are maybe getting more funding. Hell no to huge BestBuy badging everywhere.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The idea of an American F1 team is just laughable ... Stay out of the sport please yanks, you've ruined enough already.
        • 6 Years Ago
        maybe you should go back in time?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry bud, but I would love to to see a US Formula 1 team. Maybe this will bring the race back to North America.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Get them signed up...
      Then see if bernie ecclestone has the balls to keep F1 out of america....
        • 6 Years Ago
        Put on a good race and i'm sure it will come back.

        Or failing that, find someone who can actually drive an F1 car.
      David Ederer
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is Bestbuy international? Seams silly from them to sponsor an F1 team, if they aren't in Europe or maybe they're planing on selling in Europe?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now that BMW is done, why not pull Dell sponsorship over, instead of Best Buy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      WTF? I would have thought that Best Buy was a litttle more, um, NASCAR? :)

      OK I get it...gadgets....technology...F1...but still....those cars are going to be fugly!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Um, do YOU realize they already sponsor Elliott Sadler's NASCAR Sprint Cup Charger, right?
        • 6 Years Ago

        Uh let me check my closet real quick ... nope no wife beater so I must not be a nascrap fan.
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