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Reports circulating the motorsport press indicate that USF1 has signed a provisional contract with Argentine driver Jose Maria Lopez to drive for the new team next season. The arrangement, however, depends on Lopez bringing with him $8 million in sponsorship dollars, of which the young South American reportedly already has 80% in his coffers.

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Now that the USF1 team has received the go-ahead from the FIA as one of the three new teams to join the grid next year, the boys in Charlotte are working away in preparation of an anticipated launch of their first chassis before the end of October. According to team principal Ken Anderson, the design is almost finalized, and they're just waiting for $5 million in machinery and the specs on the new Cosworth engine they'll be running to arrive before they can begin manufacturing. Currently the tea

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It's on again, off again in the face-paced world of Formula One politics. First the biggest teams in F1 were slated to split off and form their own series. Then everything seemed reconciled, until Max Mosley got all torqued off again and threatened to scuttle the whole deal. It's anyone's guess at this point – we think the one series will be on track for next season – but in the meantime, the FIA issued the official list of entries for 2010.

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Whatever the outcome of the standoff between the Formula One Teams Association and the FIA, it was clear from the get-go that F1 was to change dramatically. As it turned out, the two parties – the first representing the teams currently participating in the sport and the second its governing body – have apparently reconciled their differences.

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If you think the domination of Brawn GP has shaken things up in Formula One, that's nothing compared to what could be in store for the F1 grid in the next year or two. While the FIA toys with budget caps and all manner of new regulations, several prospective teams are lining up at the potential of entering the field at a reduced cost. Following earlier reports that Lola, Aston Martin and several current GP2 teams are toying with the idea of jumping into top-tier grand prix racing, Bernie Ecclest

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Remember when F1 teams were independent racing outfits, before the major automakers starting buying them all up? Well, if the Honda/Brawn GP saga and the tightening of budgets at carmaker headquarters around the world are anything to go by, the Formula One world could be back at that stage sooner than you might think. But the next team to bridge that divide will be the nascent USF1 team that's scheduled to join the grid next year. Going the independent route, USF1 is reportedly seriously conside

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