The World Motor Sport Council is just catching up to USF1's premature disappearance from Formula 1. The WSMC has reportedly banned the American ex-team forever – which we're guessing means the troika of Ken Anderson, Peter Windsor and Chad Hurley – from competing in F1, and fined it $382,000 as well as legal costs.
Easy come, easy go. Only it was anything but an easy arrival for USF1, the highly anticipated and much-hyped American grand prix team that was slated to hit the grid this past weekend for the start of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship. And in the end, much as Bernie Ecclestone predicted, the team failed to make it.
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.
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.
F1 drivers have left the grid to go to NASCAR, so why not have a NASCAR driver make the leap to Formula 1? USF1's Peter Windsor reportedly has his eye on NASCAR bad boy Kyle Busch to pilot the team's single-seater in next year's championship. The 24-year-old Busch is said to have massive talent, and he's tallied a fair number of wins in his five years of racing in three NASCAR series.
For a time in the 70s and 80s, Formula One wasn't dominated by automaker-backed factory teams. They were there, but independent teams were plentiful and often competitive. For many years most of those teams were powered by Cosworth engines, particularly the DFV and its derivatives. With the new rules that took effect this year, the Brawn GP team has proven that those days of privateer teams may be back and several new teams may be on the grid for 2010.