• Feb 25, 2010
USF1 has already entered the terminal vortex – that is the swirl of rumors, silence and denials that leads everyone casting pitiful glances at some entity, thinking "You stink of death." The team didn't say much when everyone was wondering what was happening, but in motorsports, everyone knows what that means: they don't have money.

Now team principle Ken Anderson has come out and admitted that the organization has financial issues and is said to be speaking with the FIA about missing the first four races of the season. His take is that "We have a timeline in place that if we get a decision quickly [granting the right to miss races], that triggers funding and we're good to go." He also clarifies that YouTube honcho Chad Hurley is still backing the team. A disgruntled employee, on the other hand, has a different take, writing to Autosport magazine that workers were told the team had funding for three years, and that the recent upheaval has led to the departure of ten of the 70 employees.

If something definitely good doesn't happen for USF1 in a matter of hours, the next phase will be the zombie zone, when a thing is still technically alive but everyone regards it as dead. Another sponsor has ended its partnership with the team, driver Jose Maria Lopez is still contracted but said to be on the verge of joining Campos F1, and the rumors of Hurley's bolting to Campos still resound. Good luck finding jockeys to jump on that horse, guys.

As we understand it, even if USF1 does get FIA approval, it still doesn't even have a car. Anderson said he wants to show up at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on May 9. If the FIA granted Anderson his wish today, USF1 would still have just 70 days to finish building a car and get it crash tested – and find two paying drivers to pilot it. And then, with no in-season testing, we can only surmise they'd show up on for Friday practice and be ridiculously off the pace. At this point, even if USF1 does survive... who wins? Hat tip to Peter!

[Sources: The New York Times, ESPN]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm not going to apologize for still supporting the efforts. I know this is a difficult task and they've tried to do it the hard way (starting with a blank sheet of paper). Europe isn't some sort of magical kingdom and other than an entire nation going broke (call Athens for verification) and others involved in rampant spending there's plenty of economic downturn to be found in Europe. There are experts here just like in Europe in many scientific and manufacturing fields. Yes, the majority that have experience in F1 are from Europe but that's not exactly rocket science since there hasn't been a team here for years but that will change as a team is established and you talent base expands to fit the need.

      BTW: I live in Charlotte and there's one of the finest culinary schools in the US here so, the food is pretty frickin' good and (despite still being a svelte runner/cyclist) I've eaten just about everywhere thank you very much.

      Man o' man you guys are negative.

      PS: I like JV too but I think he's going to be a disaster if he's on the grid.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It should be evident that the project was somewhat doomed from the start. In F1, it is almost impossible to concieve and manufacture a car outside of Europe regardless of jingoistic nobility and intent. Why? There are essentially no schools or apprenticeships outside of the UK and Continent for tool and die makers, fabricators or race constructors, so it is very difficult (read - not going to happen) to find the sort of specialists that you need to manufacture one off bits to build a unique platform with which to compete. These are not simple vehicles like NASCAR or hot rods and you are not using a CNC machine to make "Donk" wheels. These are highly complex units that require cubic money that, quite frankly, is not available in the USA right now. The Canadian and European economies are not suffering the same as we are and that is the rub. As a purveyor of whatever, are you going to hand over literally hundreds of millions of dollars while you are laying off staff? That would take more ego than I think most have.

      So you have two problems, first you have to bring the skilled staff from Europe and tell them that the food in Charlotte is every bit as good as back home and Second , you need a ton of money. This was easy to predict.. being a pain in the butt commentator for Murdoch does not go that far when seeking an elusive goal..
      • 4 Years Ago
      The team is officially dead they actually lied about 3 years of funding they don't have the funding at all. That doesn't mean they'll race after 4 races that means its over the team is dead and they'll never race.

      After lying about their funding everybody dropped sponsorship for them, they are done and they wont be on the grid after 4 races, after a year or ever.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What a sham this has all turned out to be. Do yourself a favor and don't race this season. Good god...
        • 4 Years Ago
        And to think we turned down Prodrive Aston Martin and Lola for these hacks. They just embarrassed the US by using our name in the title.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I still wish them the best of luck on getting onto the grid, I was hoping Jacque Villeneuve would be looking to join the team and be a pay to drive drive. But if the team is as messed up as it sounds then he probly took one look at the team and said Ya about that HELLS NO! . But like I said I would still love to see a North Americain team in F1 even if it only gets us one more race a year it would be well worth it!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wish some NASCAR folks would step up like Bodine did for bobsledding. Tired of getting hammered by the Europeans, they built a competitive sled in America. I would think that the same "Go America" attitude would motivate more monetary support for USF1. Oh well...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have no hopes for USF1 to be in this years F1 Season. It is not fair if they are allowed to miss 4 races. All teams should be equal. They better try for next year.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ya know I just got an interesting email promising me millions in payment for cashing checks for Nigerian gold or something like that. I'll forward it to Peter Windsor.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Crabby, your ignorant comments reflect the thoughts of most casual F1 fans, sadly, and many people from the Continent. Not sure where you're getting your financial insight from, but hopefully you recognize that the financial crisis is not limited to the US, and that many high-profile sponsors of existing F1 teams are American as well. You also fail to recognize that much of the technology in F1 has come from American companies and investment, and that there are actually some reasonably high-tech manufacturers located in the US. Think about it the next time you board a 737, use a computer, get healthcare, etc. You finish with a swipe at Fox/Murdoch, so I think we can safely put you in the America-sucks-and-i-wish-i-was-backpacking-through-Spain-with-that-hairy-legged-chick-again camp. Laid off much?

      That said, your initial statement was correct. Windsor/Anderson should have lined up the money before they made any announcements about entering the championship. Ain't got nothin' to do with Charlotte.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Now , now - time to face facts and be a bit less nasty. It shows that you are not that informed, just a bully that is used to winning arguments with personal attacks.Does anyone suppose that winning an F1 race is a very simple task? Do you suppose that anyone can do it? Do you think Rupert Murdoch is American? Or do you reckon he is an Australian with a wife from Communist China? There may be American investment , but the vast majority of computer software is not written by Americans, the 737 first flew in 1967 and the US stands 27th in the world for health care. I am not making this up. To be fair, I did not really mean to take a shot at Charlotte even if the largest shop in the aeroport is one that sells NASCAR fanware, generally Europeans are not good travellers. I would suggest that even GM used Europeans to build the Corvettes that have dominated a class of one for a while. I am not against America, it is just that to do this without a manufacturer is very difficult and there isn't anyone to step up to the plate. Even the brilliant Ross Brawn cannot go alone and he knows it by first using Honda and then MB. There is a very slim chance that a winning F1 team in the USA would sell more products of any kind. Very few watch it and without subsidized tickets, few will attend. Go to an ALMS race and listen to the crews speak and you will get the picture...