USF1: The case against

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A1GP already has an American team - but will F1 one day?

Guest writer Peter Anderson, who posts comments as ZeroGee, is deeply sceptical about the USF1 project. Here’s why.

As I’ve written here before I think the US F1 team is little more than a stunt. Here’s my take on their plans and why I think that this will be the very definition of an F1 team failure.


There have been very few true new teams to F1 over the last decade. They’ve all been re-badged efforts of other operations with the possible exception of BAR who only bought Tyrrell to get some of the gear and licences. Stewart F1 was formed in 1997 (and is now Red Bull Racing via Jaguar) and Renault is simply the Benetton team.

So Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson have decided to do several unthinkable things before breakfast. The first is to find adequate funding to build a Formula 1 team from scratch, in twelve months, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. I honestly have no idea where to start with that. Ken Anderson is quoted as saying that most of the races aren’t in Europe any more, so that’s not an issue.

Poppycock. These people are going to spend their entire lives in the air. At least with the European teams, they can wander Europe in their transporters. While I’m not suggesting all team infrastructure will be kept Stateside, they’re already committing themselves to some serious air miles. That’s going to cost them, ??55m (??49m) budgets or not. Much of Toyota’s problems are attributed to basing themselves in Cologne, away from the epicentre of F1 in southern England.

Something breaks at the track in Belgium? Easy for the European teams. Pack the part as hand luggage on Ryanair or Easy Jet and we’re done. North Carolina? Well, that’s a flight to DC or NY, then across the Atlantic to another hub such as London or Paris and then on to Spa. The majority of races will be very early in the morning for the factory so there will be considerable staff disconnect with the racing operation.


The two driving forces of the team seem – and I do stress that word – to have tenuous grasp on the economics. Ken Anderson seems to think that because of the recession carbon fibre is cheap therefore so will it be for F1. Er, okay. Windsor says the team will be a ‘lean, mean skunkworks approach.’ (More on ‘skunkworks’ at the bottom of this page). Laudable. But probably close to impossible with their geographic remoteness. Part of the point of the new rules is to allow teams to slim down their operations but with a whopping great ocean separating the racing operation from the factory, there will much duplication of duties.

All of the things they’re saying about basing themselves in America are just plain rhetoric. Windsor again: “We can do it in America; we can do it differently from everybody else.” Yes, I’m sure that’s what Michael Andretti said to the McLaren team. That went well.

There’s another parallel with BAR, too – Adrian Reynard and his team singularly failed to get to grips with the differences between F1 and IndyCar. Without wishing to be unpleasant, F1 is another world away again from the technology of NASCAR, a name synonymous with Charlotte.

Opportunity missed?

For me, the biggest own goal is passing up the opportunity to buy Honda Racing. Maybe not to race this year, but they’ll have a fine base to start from. Although the ‘here’s one I prepared earlier’ mentality does not make a racing team automatically successful, it avoids the trauma of starting from scratch. The more I think about it, the more I think insanity has prevailed.

Not having an engine supplier is the biggest reason I think this is going to be a PR disaster. They’ll be scrambling for a supplier and all this flashy carry-on is just going to land them in hot water. If Honda’s buyer materialises, that will probably hoover up the Mercedes engines. Toyota is busy being out-performed by Williams with their own engines, BMW don’t look to keen to be handing out power plants and I can’t see Windsor dropping his trousers for the Ferrari engine fund. I can’t see him being told what to do by Stefano Domenicali. Or maybe I can. Windsor did spend a lot of time being nice to Ferrari in his columns last year.

And of course, there’s Bernie and Max. There’s plenty of motherhood statements from the pair of them supporting the idea, but let’s be honest, they’re looking to align themselves with any good news they can lay their hands on. I can’t see them caring whether the team lives or dies as long as they’re a distraction for long enough.

Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to see them get this thing up and, more importantly, provide good racing. I want a 24 car grid, I want good, hard racing and lots of hungry drivers in with a shot at winning. American drivers have had a poor recent history in F1 and the fanciful Danica Patrick/Scott Speed dream team is just that. As is the whole thing. They may get to the grid in 2010, but they’ll have an awfully short, painful life.

Which will be the result of blindness to reality from the likes of Windsor and Anderson. Let’s not forget, people get hurt when these things plough into the dirt. People lose their jobs, get the stigma of being a part of that failure and the reputations of promising, talented people are damaged, often irreparably. Windsor and Anderson are shooting their mouths off but their trousers aren’t even on, let alone backing up those mouths.

This is a guest article by Peter Anderson. If you want to write a guest article for F1 Fanatic you can find all the information you need here.

Extra from Keith:

On Tuesday I asked on Twitter whether anyone agreed USF1 had more chance of making it to F1 in 2010 than Honda do in 2009. I got a mix of positive and negative replies:

gasheaduk – Definitely USF1. Although personally I can’t see either happening.
jackstow – Honda F1 in 2009 is dead now. Not even time to re-fit the new engine for the first race. USF1 in 2010? Nah. Negative maybe.
formula1blog – I’m echoing that. Good call Keith.
F1Badger – What’s with all the USF1 hype – really. They made an announcement and we learned what exactly. yawn…
keirdre – USF1 will never happen, so I’d go with Honda being (just) more likely for appear next season.
Hitchcockm00 – Easily USF1. Surely there’s no chance Honda can make the start of the season even if they found a buyer.

What do you think of USF1’s chances of making it to the F1 grid? Have your say in the comments.

46 comments on “USF1: The case against”

  1. How anyone can think USF1 has a better chance than Honda is beyond me. At least Honda already have a car, and facilities, and trained staff. USF1 has… Peter Windsor and a lot of hot air. Mini-sponsorship? Yeah… that’s OK if you’re a single mother in Bangalore, not a multi-million dollar racing venture. The fact that they haven’t even attempted to get in on the Honda deal smacks of pride over practicality. USF1… no way. And seriously…Danica? Even Bourdais (who won a few more races than her) had to practically beg for a ride.

    1. I love how everyone like you thinks that buying Honda is the answer to the world’s problems. What dose the curent Honda operation have……

      – One race win, in lucky conditions at that!

      – A lead driver who is over-priced and often over-hyped, and a seemingly already-confirmed second driver who will line up this year with just as many F1 starts as any USF1 driver will next year.

      – Experience yes, but did that get them anything other than a lucky podium this season? That is in no way a knock on any staff at Honda, but it just gose to show that experience isn’t the cure-all some of you think it is….

      There’s plenty of good reasons why Anderson and Windsor diden’t buy the Honda package.

  2. Unfortunately I’d say they have 2 chances: buckleys and none.

  3. Hmm…I’m not sure what to think of USf1. On the one hand I’d love to see a new team succeed and I’ve always favoured the underdog so I would love to see them come in and do things their own way and be successful. On the other hand, there’s a reason all the top teams go about racing in more-or-less the same way…it’s what has been proven to work.

    I think I’m going to reserve judgement on USF1 until we see something more concrete.

    As for Honda, if you’d asked me on Tuesday I would have said they don’t look like making it to the grid in 09…now we’re hearing they may be testing the 09 car next week…I’m inclined to say that they will…

    PS: Keith, I’m going to starting an F1 themed blog in the next week or so, how are you with cross linking?

  4. F1 still based in Europe? We are close to losing Britain, France has gone, Spa might go, Germany is going, Turkey is going. That leaves Monaco and Valencia to represent ‘Europe’.
    Most of the new circuits are in the Middle East and Far East, as are the new ones promised, and will be just as easy to reach from America as from Europe, if not easier. If USF1 have a second base by 2010, it might as well be in Bahrain or Singapore as Britain. Any of the current teams that are left by then ought to be considering a move in that direction too.
    I can understand the outcry that NASCAR people might want to try something a little different, but then nobody expect McLaren to make cars that would win Le Mans either. Why do USF1 have to rush to find an engine this year? Maybe its better to see who is left in the business before you sign the contract….

  5. Toyota was a brand new team in 2002.
    Also, I’ve heard BMW as a possible engine supplier. It’s purely conjecture, but BMW has a big manufacturing plant (building Z4s and X5s) in Spartanburg, SC, very close to Charlotte, NC. Even if BMW isn’t interested, the teams did agree to provide cheap engines to anyone who wanted them, so some team would have to step forward and do that (Ferrari or Mercedes probably the most likely candidates).
    Lastly, Bernie and Max are aligning themselves with good news because what’s good for F1 (another team to fill out the grid, especially with US roots) is good for Bernie and Max. They can make a lot of things happen magically, including that engine deal.

  6. I’m still on the believe-it-when-I-see-it approach, with both ex-Honda and USF1.

    Ideally, I’d like both teams to be on the grid next year, along with Prodrive. That would be awesome. But am I prepared to put money on that happening? Better odds with tattslotto, methinks….

  7. I think they will get the cosworth package the fia wants teams to get!
    Or the teams must provide an affordable engine, and that could be anyone I guess :)

    Chassis… Or they are working on it longer then we think and know or they have fia guarantee that they can use customer cars… wich I’m still thinking has a good oppertunity to get the nod because of the recession!

  8. DG – Le Mans 1995, Mclaren F1 GTR!

    Bernie will get them an engine supply, no worries about that. They’ll get to the grid, but might not last that long.

    1. And Williams played a key role in the design of BMW’s winning LM car, too.

  9. Mouse_Nightshirt
    26th February 2009, 13:12

    Considering the news is today that Honda have a takeover contract signed, I really think we’re more likely to see Honda this year than USF1 next.

  10. where do i begin with this?

    your entire logistics argument is rubbish. windsor and anderson have said there will be a satellite office, possibly in spain. 9 of the 17 races this year will be outside of europe, with 5 of those are on the pacific rim and 1 in south america. “The majority of races will be very early in the morning for the factory so there will be considerable staff disconnect with the racing operation.” is possibly the weakest point of your entire argument – it just doesn’t make sense. my own office is open for business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it makes no difference whether a part is fabricated or computer simulation is run at 3AM or 3PM. it’s worth noting that i could buy nearly anything in the world and have it in my hands in roughly 24 hours or so. if something should break in belgium, they will pull a replacement out of the truck, just like every other team.

    regarding money, your main argument against is again the “remoteness” of north america. then you go on to talk about things completely irrelevant, finishing with “charlotte builds nascar cars, therefore f1 is beyond them.”

    information coming from usf1 is pretty thin, but your bashing is absolutely diaphanous. it’s clear you don’t want to see an american f1 team, and seeing your circular logic printed here detracts from an otherwise excellent site.

    good day to you, sir.

    1. Thank you F1 Yankee.
      Now I don’t have to say all the same things (I agree with you).


      Now would someone get Pete (Peter Windsor) to start selling some USF1 gear so we can support our team?!

      (Yeah,, I’m poking the other teams in the eye a bit, us crazy Americans haven’t had anyone directly to cheer for in F1 since Scott, so cut us some slack, we’re excited and we have a chance to play in this big game we all love called F1!)

      (Darn it just checked,, looks like someone already hacked the site,, arrrgh!!!)

  11. I’m sorry, but you didn’t mention toyota as a new team for 2002, they started from scratch
    and I think honda will be running first than usf1, I see no future in the american team

  12. Whatever happens, I think one of the best investments USF1 can do is have a good simulator, both for the car and even more so for the drivers. These are costly, so maybe they can get an American company to buid one and in exchange give the whole process a lot of good press …..
    More and more I think the future will involve simulators, and for the USF1 team in Charlotte, a little disconnected from the rest of the F1 world, this would make good sense.

  13. I’m not sure I agree with the analysis that most of Toyota’s problems are due to being based outside of southern England. The reason for basing the team in Germany was to build upon the existing facilities of Toyota Team Europe, which had been successful in world rallying, rather than set up something from scratch.

    Having a base in southern England isn’t exactly a prerequisite for F1 success – neither Ferrari or BMW Sauber are based in England and did quite well in 2008. In my view, Toyota’s problems stem from the ridgid application of management principles that work in a large manufacturing company but aren’t suited to F1.

    Michael Andretti? Not really applicable – Andretti clearly suffered by living on a different continent to McLaren, but surely USF1 would be based in a single place? Especially if its drivers were American.

    Engine supply – the manufacturer teams have agreed in principle to provide cheap customer engines to other teams. Alternatively, the FIA standard engine is due to be ready for 2010 and several teams have apparently expressed an interest. (FYI – Williams are not currently beating Toyota with their own engines (Toyota were fifth in 2008, Williams were eighth).)

    Don’t get me wrong, USF1 has a mountain to climb to create a brand new team based in a part of the world with no background to speak of in modern F1. The lack of experienced F1 personnel in Carolina will be an issue, although relocating in an English speaking environment may be more attractive to some than Switzerland or Italy. Getting last minute parts to races will also be more difficult but nothing a private jet on standby or a facility in Spain couldn’t solve.

    The biggest issue, surely, has to be finding American drivers of sufficient quality to compete in F1.

  14. themark- “who won a few more races than her” (bordais and Danica)

    Danica didn’t even win a race before Bordais’ F1 career began. Danica can barely compete in IRL, and makes way too many mental mistakes.

  15. The logistics argument is not garbage. Its not about flight time and shipping costs, or bashing NC technical resources, its about leveraging commercial and intellectual infrastructure. There is a reason why tech companies set up shop in greater San Francisco and why a race car builder goes to England. When you are starting from scratch, capital has to go to the talent, it has to be in the line-of-sight of investors, it must be able to host suppliers’ staff for secondments without making them move their families. It must become part of the industry community. This is why setting up shop in NC is daft.

  16. Bah Humbug! Being Canadian, I have my share of instinctive, knee-jerk anti-Americanism, but I can’t help but think that if this start-up was named UKF1 we’d get a lot more articles on all the reasons why the project should and will succeed. We may find Americans abrasive, but like it or not, they certainly do have an entrepreneurial spirit that takes them places. Besides, as for logistics, they’ve already said that they”ll have a home away from home in Europe, so I don’t see why this is even a point of discussion. And as for funding, don’t underestimate how much money a “we’re taking on snooty Europeans” approach just may gather from good ole’ boys – there’s certainly enough money going around in American motorsport. I say go go go USF1!.

  17. I tend towards F1Yankee’s reaction. The article is oddly weighted, overly aggressive, poorly substantiated and in some cases spuriously argued. Why ‘the case against’ and not a neutral evaluation of the chances of the USF1 team succeeding? So what if they fail? I don’t get the problem – it’s theirs, surely. And the claim ‘little more than a stunt’ seems incongruous given that such a large percentage of F1 is basically financed and driven by marketing. Actually, I think an injection of US interest would be potentially useful to F1 given the lack of transparency shown by FIA and the unholy duo of Ecclestone and Moseley and their unwillingness to make F1 a real sport that respects its viewing and attending public and not a wrap-up between the big name constructors.

  18. I think a US based team could work, but these guys don’t seem to have anything concrete — no sponsors, no engine, no drivers, no GP in North America. That’s a lot to build up in less than a year. When they talk about Danica Patrick or even Scott Speed as drivers, that makes me take them even less seriously.

    1. I agree about Danica and Scott Speed, but I don’t see either of them ever jumping to any F1 team to begin with. As for engines, sponsors, etc.. that’s all going to come in the next few months. With the driver line-ups, I would say watch for that at the end of summer/beginning of fall- would they want to confirm someone now and see them fall flat if they have a bad year in whatever series they are driving in?

    2. Gman – I see where you’re coming from but without info on sponsors/engines etc why bother with their global announcement (in the US) at all.
      If there’s a stars n stripes car on the grid in 2010 i’m not sure if i’ll be happy or sad.

    3. Adam,

      Your point is valid and well-taken, and I believe I saw an explination for it. Before the USF1 site crashed, I believe Peter Windsor said in his blog that he and Anderson were hoping to keep it under wraps a bit longer. While he diden’t say this specifically as a reason, perhaps they were waiting until all the backing and engine deals were in place. If word leaked out, I believe the best thing would be to confirm the rumours, and this is apprently what they did.

  19. I guess it will happen but I see two significant problems.

    First is location. I don’t think it is just an issue of being in the US. I’m not convinced about the idea of a second base. The difficulties of coordinating both bases is going to be difficult and inevitably management time will be spent on this coordination rather than building a quality car.

    The second problem seems to be the desire to make this entirely a US outfit. An entirely US outfit should boost US support (especially if there was a US grand prix for the home time to try and win). But restricting yourself to the US means eliminating talent from elsewhere: the obvious talent issue is the drivers themselves but in addition will the team needs to attract people who know something about F1. Very well paid people might be attracted to the US but an F1 team also needs people further down the ranks of the team. I can’t see these coming from Europe which leaves the team to depend on Nascar people. This will lessen potential performance

  20. If all this is real:

    Why not make an announcement from their own corporate headquarters? They don’t have one.

    Why not reveal who their equity investor is? Bernie maybe, after Honda turned down his $100 million offer??

    Does anyone think they can build a car in less than a year, from scratch no less? I don’t see how.

    Ken Anderson stated he could turn any “good” engineer into an F1 engineer. That’s a trick I’d like to see, there’s no substitute for experience.

    And about that skunk works approach. Do these two guys really think there is a different way to build a competitive race car that the other existing teams haven’t tried? Talk about pie in the sky! Maybe a new business model, but the objective is still producing a very light aerodynamic car packed with technology, and starting with a clean sheet of paper. They will not get on track in 2010 unless they buy a customer car and drive train, including whatever KERS device they can buy. Hello McLaren!!!

    Can’t wait for them to open an on line store to buy some swag that will commemorate their efforts. In two years time that’s all we’ll have to show for it.

    And yes, I’m an American who can’t buy into the hype. If things develop quickly with efforts in the next month or two my opinion might change. Anyone who works with schedules will know deadlines aren’t lost in the last quarter, they’re usually compromised by inertia in the first.

    1. – Making the announcement from SPEED HQ makes perfect sense- it’s currently the broadcaster for F1 here in the US, even if they did have their own HQ up and running. I believe they are shopping around for a building, and that stuff is all going to come in the next few months.

      – With the investors, did you think they may have an agreement with involved parties that keeps their identity confidential until a later date? Maybe some of them are still sorting things out and they want to make an announcement all at the same time….

  21. There is so many ways this article is wrong. I’ll just shoot a few holes.

    1: Logistics: Peter Windsor has indicated that USF1 will be looking for a European home in Spain, southern France, and northern Italy that will serve as a year-round logistics base. Contrary to your assumption, they wouldn’t have to airfreight from the states for parts and materials. They would just have to bring it into their European base. Besides, how that different from a European teams half of the season when they are at the fly-away races?

    2: Money: You total misrepresented the carbon fiber quote. Ken Anderson used that as an example of how much cheaper it is to operate out of the states. One of the advantages of this team to manufacture in the states is just how much cheaper it is in the states for talent and materials. For example, the average F1 engineer makes on average $70,000 – $80,000 a year while an average. A NASCAR engineer makes $50,000 – $60,000 a year. Add to that cheaper real estate, building costs, material and transportation costs. It reminds me of what a very successful executive once to me, “Costs matter, in this world economy with laser fast internet and growing global talent; location is now choice.”

    3: Engines: The one thing you failed to recognized is the moves that the FIA, FOM, and the teams themselves have done to cut costs and bring new teams like USF1 into the sport. The 5 million euro engine deal and 1.5 million euro gearbox rules come into effect. Unlike your assumption, every team is looking for engine deals with partners. They would be stupid not to. Especially with so many constraints on testing, teams need every opportunity to test their engines.

    I am not saying USF1 will happen; my concerns are mainly can they get enough sponsorship and design a car in time. However, I have doubt in Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor to pull through of what they have stated in terms of a business plan.

  22. ZeroGee, your argument has more holes in it than a cut of Swiss Cheese. Here’s just a few points….

    – Your logistical case is weak and way off-base. As Peter Windsor said, the USF1 cars and people will be back in NC faster than the UK-based teams will arrive back at their bases after a European round. Let the current teams “wander around Europe in their transporters”- USF1 may have a way of doing it better and faster. As for the European base, why would that detract from the main operation in the US? I would imagine that all of the spare parts for the European season would be kept there, so the issues would be the same as the other teams. And for the non-Europe races, the logistics will be the same as all the other teams in almost every aspect.

    – Perhaps your weakest point is the “lack of an engine supplier being a PR disaster.” First, if the team plans to compete in 2010, they can’t even put their entry for that season on-track until early in 2010- they have PLENTY of time to find an engine supplier in the next few months and design the car to be on time with their goals. As for BMW, I would bet they will be quite interested in this project,

    -Finally, your arguments about American drivers and Michael Andretti makes you sound like nothing more than the typical whiney hack with the “Americans can’t cut it in F1” mentality. I’ll be the first one to agree that Danica and Speed should be the last drivers considered, but I will also be the first to say that an American driver who gets the same amount of respect and consideration as one from the traditional F1 hotbeds will drive just as well as anyone. Hey, did Poland ever have much luck in F1 before Kubica? That’s what I thought……

    Someday, in the not-too-distant future, you’re going to see American drivers winning F1 races and competing for championships. When the Star-Spangled Banner rings out out over the podium, I can see many people like you sticking your fingers in your ears in disbelief…..

  23. Like the old saying… “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” And neither is a F1 team. I usually like this site, but this article was a load of poppy cock.

    Instead of trying to beat up a NEW team, in a sport that is building up a queue for losing more teams. Everyone in whatever country you’re from should be happy someone is putting up efforts to get in. USF1 is trying something different, being more transparent than the typical F1 team, and is more public friendly.

    To metaphorically spit in there face, because they aren’t European. You, Sir are either mindless or envious not to be an American. Plain and simple, if you LOVE F1 and have a favorite team and/or driver great and good for you. But everyone should be elated that there is a new F1 team in the works.

    One more thing, USF1 hasn’t said who their drivers are. But everyone is playing into USF1’s hands by getting excited when they mention, Ms Patrick or some other
    un-popular driver. The more you talk, the more the publicity they get, and the more a sponsor will want to be apart of that for advertising. I say continue on with the speculating, because your helping the team get on the map.

  24. The USF1 press conference seems to imply that they have a business plan that needs publicity to generate capital. That makes me fear that they are much further from making this a reality they say. Why make such a splash with not even engine supplier.
    However, the F1 establishment is so set in its ways and bloated. Max and Bernie are more interested in jet setting and having gourment meals over the Ferrari and Mclaren garages than improving the racing. A new approach may really work and cut cost while still having technological developement. Instead of saying why it wont work talk about how it could be made to work

  25. I often tell people that one of the things that makes me an F1 fan is the soap opera, from the off season to the silly season. This latest twist in the tale of the teams couldn’t be more fun if it stared Herbie the Love Bug driven by Jerry Lewis. There is little I can add that hasn’t already been said above, but I will point out that F1 fans must be the most sophisticated and informed bunch of any sport around. Well, most of them.

    Of course the proof is in the pud, but In my opinion, there is little meat here and a lot of menu. Windsor knows what it takes to run an F1 team, or at least he used to, so I’m surprised that he actually believes he can pull this off and that we will believe it is possible. Maybe they should give Reynard a call on how easy it is to jump in and build an F1 racer.

    Starting with the argument that it’s cheaper than ever to get into F1 is like saying that because the price of oil has gone down, I should rush out and fill up my tank. There are too many variables involved: from the expertise in Europe (sorry, but to compare F1 engineers salaries to NASCAR doesn’t touch on comparing ability to engineer much more complex machines); testing (you have to test where the rest of the teams are testing in order to see where you are at in relation to them, and last I checked, F1 wasn’t doing a lot of on track testing in Charlotte); financing (start with a lot, get a long list of high paying sponsors and you still won’t have enough); location (can anyone say for sure that Toyota hasn’t been hindered by being located in Cologne?);to just plain experience (Honda, TR, FI, RB, all were teams with experience in previous incarnations), none of these issues have been adequately addressed.

    Tune in next week for another episode of “As the Green Wheel Turns”…..

  26. I would really love to see that USf1 make it … but with what’s going on? With just hot air going out? I really do think the writer of this blog “Peter Anderson” is write … I also echo what “themark” has commented … it really looks like it

  27. Peter Windsor himself was last year on SpeedChannel in the US saying why dont the teams cut out the expandable trailerss and gourment food and the like. Thats millions right there. Look at the money Mclaren spent on the home base, its like Buckingham Palace. There is so much streamlining possible. Big teams have so much overhead with huge work forces and mainting team support infrastructure. USF1’s windtunnel is used by other American racing teams and wont have to fully funded by the team like other teams. There so many tech companies and after market car part manufactures in America im sure they have ideas to improve manufacturing costs. Opening up the facilities to the public is great idea making people involved. Going to a race is very expensive and out of reach for many F1 fans.

  28. Deja vu. I think Peter Windsor has read the BRM book on how not to start a Formula 1 team with lots of little investors and ignored it. Younger readers will have to go back a bit for that one.

  29. I would love to see any new team enter this sport. I don’t care if they’re from the US or Peru or Sri Lanka. I think that (as Peter mentioned) this team will make it to the grid in 2010. But will they stay there? That’s something that none of us can predict, so we’ll have to wait and see. What I don’t like is the mass accusations of “anti-Americanism” being thrown at the author of this post. Does he say “I hate America”? “Americans are dumb”? No. He has written an opinion piece that we all may or may not agree with, which creates discussion on a blog – which is what blogs are for. Especially this extremely wonderful blog that is starting to get bashed too. I for one would like to thank the author for his efforts, and to thank Keith for allowing guests to provide opinions and ignite discussion.

    p.s. Sorry Peter, but I don’t agree with too much of the article, but thanks anyway!

    1. Toby,

      I agree that this blog is a wonderful spot for dialogue and discussion- I am also a guest writer and am most thankful to Keith for those opportunities. But I don’t see anyplace where the blog itself is being bashed or commented on in a negative light. It would be a great shame if it is, because this is a great forum for discussion from around the world.

      In regards to the anti-American feelings you speak of, I cannot speak for the other comments, but I did not mean to imply that Peter is an anti-American or expresses such feelings in my earlier post. Rather, it seems to me that he dosen’t place much faith in American driving talent making it to F1, and I disagree with him if that is his stance- no ofense intended to him at all. My point is if you get talented people and support them in the proper fashion, they will be good regardless of nationality.

    2. Hi Toby,

      Disagree all you like. Just don’t put words in my mouth as other posters have. :-)

      For the record, if they get going, they will be able to get a hold of all the raw materials they need. That’s why they’re in Charlotte. But…how many NASCAR people are in F1? Not many. There’s a reason for that – they’re so different. I work in IT and have done software for years. If I jumped into running a PABX, it’s the same thing. Related but different. The Michael Andretti example was to demonstrate how not being focussed on the job hurts you. All that travelling killed his F1 career.

      I happen to quite like NASCAR, by the way, and have spent a great deal of time in America and know exactly what they’re capable of, which is to say an enormous amount. Everything is in fact possible in America. It’s just that Southern England, as was mentioned, is F1’s Silicon Valley. It’s hurt Toyota, it’s hurt Sauber, it will hurt USF1.

      I also happen to regard Danica quite highly and would love to see her given a go in F1. Scott Speed made a decent go of it and probably deserves another crack.

      I want to see USF1 happen. I don’t think Windsor or Anderson can do it, though.

      Anyway, we’ll reconvene in 12 months and see where we are.

      Hi Gman,

      The engine rules are unlikely to go ahead, in my opinion. Certainly not for 2010. Why would USF1 be asking for quotes if the E5m price tag were genuine?

      And I never made any disparaging remarks about US drivers. Andretti’s work arrangement was the problem and his driving suffered. In the end, America is just where someone comes from, nothing to do with how well they can drive. People who are saying that I am making assumptions based on nationality should perhaps read a little more carefully. I don’t think I even mentioned driver talent once.


      I’m tired, I forgot about 2008! :-)

  30. If Peter and Ken have a plan, and say they have the money, let them go for it, and let’s give them a bit of encouragment rather than dissing and being negative about it. Both have massive experience, a lot more than probably all of us put together and if they think they can pull it off, well, right on! More power to them, rather then tapping into the sour-grapes that permeate the American racing scene when it comes to F1, just because F1 is all about elitism, class order and noble connections – everything America, says it’s not, but deep down really is, and always has been. The reason no US team has never done well in F1 is they’ve always gone ‘over there and tried to do it there own way’. So let’s see how it works the other way around. Going to the far east and down south will definitely be in their favor as will the easy access to NYC, where most F1 deals are done anyways, as well as to all the US based technology. I give them more of a chance than whatever happens with Honda and/or even Toro Rosso once Red Bull pulls the plug. Who knows maybe even Force India? Good luck to USF1 and all those positive F1 Fans who support their initiative.

  31. Great article but…
    “Toyota is busy being out-performed by Williams with their own engines..” …er, what series were YOU watching last year???!

  32. ZeroGee,

    Thanks for the response. I am happy you’ve spent some time on our shores and have a good understanding of NASCAR and the like. Now that you’ve explained it, I have a bit better understanding of your comments, esp. the remark about Andretti. Indeed his lack of focus was a huge part of his downfall, and was something that could have easily been taken care of if he had the dedication to task. I believe anyone driving for USF1 will have a better since of direction, and will hopefully learn form Michael’s mistakes.

    I agree that the area around Oxfordshire could be described as an F1 version of Silicon Valley, but there are other software companies that start up and operate outside of Silicon Valley as well :) Surely some people with NASCAR experience will filter into this outfit, but so will some with F1 experience, including most lekley, some from other countries- I don’t think Anderson or Windsor will be dumb enough to turn down good help if they can get it.

    All the best, and while we may agree to disagree in the meantime, enjoy the upcoming season :)

  33. No dramas Gman. I’m not English, either, nor even European (despite having the Scandanavian equivalent of John Smith for a name).

    I liken the USF1 challenges to my challenges of working offshore for an American company – they loved us to bits, but were always in bed when we started work.

    Travel bleeds you dry. I was actually shocked they plan to fly the cars home after every race. If they get going, I think poor old Charlotte will be reduced to not very much – they’ll end up building in Spain. Travel costs will add tens of millions to their budget and they keep telling us how cheaply they’re going to do everything.

    I think they’d have massive political problems buying Honda, don’t get me wrong. And I think to say they’d have no American money available to them if they weren’t based in the US massively underestimates the marketing brains behind America’s biggest brands. American money looks for a home the same way everyone else’s does.

  34. Here comes Clive with the counter-argument: USF1: The case for

  35. Just a final thought. Ron Dennis recently said that he didn’t think that an F1 team could operate as a stand alone business any more, that F1 should be the core business, but the company should diversify. This is why the MTC looks like Buckingham palace. I see no indication of this in USF1, the plan seems to be to run a heavily sponsored team and we have seen what can happen when sponsors find themselves in trouble. USF1 are throwing out what has become the accepted model for an F1 team, just for the sake of it.

    1. Ron makes a good point, but don’t forget that his company already has established business interests in many other aspects- including the road car projects and the like. I believe what he means is that cash cow-type F1 teams- with carmakers or billionares throwing big money at a bloated operation- is obsolete. USF1 plan to run a much more sensable operation than that- for example, I would imagine that the USF1 motorhome will be the smallest in the paddock if they make the grid. Won’t look very impressive, but it will save them $10-$0 million compared to the rest.

  36. mw8icX comment2 ,

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