USF1 Barber test closed to public

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Barber Motorsports Park has confirmed USF1’s test session at the track will not be open to the public.

A circuit spokesperson said other details of the test have not been decided yet:

In regards to the USF1 test, we are still in negotiations at this point. If the test does come to Barber Motorsports Park, it will be closed to the public.

It’s understandable that USF1 want some secrecy, but when they’re positioning themselves as an American F1 team it’s a shame they’re missing out on such an obvious opportunity to court the fans.

I know several F1 Fanatic readers near the Alabama track including mfDB, Eric, Chris McCoy, Wesley and Justus were considering going, so I’m sorry if this news comes as a disappointment to them. Or are they still planning to go anyway?

Read more: USF1 to test F1 car in America

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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42 comments on “USF1 Barber test closed to public”

  1. Who will be driving them anyway?
    I think they’d not want to feel so embarassed if things goes their opposite way … whatever, can’t wait for 2010 season..

  2. HounslowBusGarage
    14th January 2010, 8:41

    Not good. It allows me to be suspicious.
    Is there any compulsion for USF1 to publish any lap times?
    Will we know if the best pace the new car can manage is well outside the existing lap record? Undoundtedly the press release will say that the car performed as predicted and that real progress was made and that the team is looking forward to Bahrein with real confidence etc, but could it all be a gigantic con to secure sponsors?

    1. How come you think they will have a car? Some sub-woofers with recorded F1 sounds will to the job.

  3. Maybe you’re right HBG, they may be covering themselves in the event their car is a complete failure. The sponsors and drivers would be put off by that straight away. However if the car runs well, expect any further tests likely to the open to the public :)

    Look’s like they’re just waiting to see how things turn out instead of doing a BAR and being like “Yeah we’re going to win in our first season”..

  4. I think they don’t want anyone to know their lap times. Plus they don’t want to reveal their drivers maybe.

    1. I don’t think so… there will be pictures.
      I’m guessing they don’t want any public in case the car breaks down or something, being just a shakedown

  5. Sad one..aint it?

  6. I think it’s because they don’t want anyone to see the mechanics pushing the car around the track.

  7. It´s obvious they are trying to hide their lack of permormance in the opening test!
    Nevertheless, it´s a pitty, as the US fans would like to see the development of the car and see where the USF1 team is at the moment.

    1. Their lack of performance, give them a break they haven’t even tested yet.

  8. I thought Peter Windsor was the guy who was always complaining that the teams didn’t give enough access to journos. A bit hypocritical if you ask me

  9. Somebody should go there and check if you can hear a V8 driving around the track…
    Mr Windsor should stop with things like this. From my point of view he is dragging the whole american motorsport industry in the mud…

  10. I have it on good authority that USF1 has no F1 car at all. They’ve dummied up an F1 shell to fit over an old IRL car, and have a trick muffler to make the Honda sound like a Cosworth. They figure if they film it themselves, with the camera back far enough, they can trick Stefan GP or someone else really hot to get into F1 into buying them out.

    (Well, that makes as much sense as some of the other comments I’ve seen on here. Let’s just wait and see, shall we?)

  11. Silly idea, they could have won some fans over and shown the world that they do have a car and that it’s okay on pace. Now the rumours are just going to keep flying.

  12. But it’s someone from the circuit who’s saying the circuit won’t be open to the public, not USF1. Even before negotiations are done. They are not really an FIA approved track for a reason (lack of runoff, fencing, etc). The track owners are probably scared of something going wrong-this has the potential after all to be the fastest machinery that would have ever run on that circuit.

  13. But it’s someone from the circuit who’s saying the circuit won’t be open to the public, not USF1. Even before negotiations are done.

    Good point. I just checked the season’s schedule for Barber Motorsports Park. Of 28 event weekends, only seven will be public events with ticket sales. The other twenty-one are private events. Seems BMP runs private events as a matter of course. One must also consider they are also a driving school, and that apparently public races are low on their list of priorities.

    Hadn’t even thought about that earlier. Good catch, inc0mmunicado.

  14. Speaking of going down to check if we can hear a Cosworth V8 at 18,000rpm. I assume that Barber will be lifting their blanket 104db noise limit for the duration.

  15. Well personally if I was in charge of a new F1 team I wouldn’t want the public around at the very first time the cars were due to run in case something went wrong.

    As for the rumours about USF1 not making the first race, again if it were me I would only be bothered if it hampered the team in anyway such as in the signing of drivers or sponsorship, otherwise I would find it quite funny all these people predicting the worst while everything is going to plan.

  16. It’s bit disappointing that F1 is trying to get in US market as we don’t have any race in 2010,the only chance for the fans to get close to F1 is now gone.
    Feel sorry for the people who will miss the opportunity

  17. Ripping on USF1, whether you’re an F1 fan or Bernie or whatever, seems to be the easy and trendy thing to do.

    Why don’t people just let them go about their work? Surely, this is not the first shakedown or straight-line test that would be done in private. Once they get to Bahrain, they will have plenty of publicity events in the US. Ever heard of patience anyone?

  18. I am home visiting from working overseas and my family lives about 4 minutes from Barber’s.I was really excited to have the opportunity to watch USF1 test their new car …especially after seeing the hilarious video they posted on Youtube. I am skeptical of the team, but am willing to give them a fair shot. After all, it is not an easy task to design and build an F1 car from scratch. I will still try and find “other” ways to watch the test and will fill you in on anything that I see or “hear”.

  19. well, .. I dunno.

    Doing a test seems useless without a professional driver with F1 experience to tell them if the car is performing well or not. I am sure the car will be able to move and start, however a test will be worthless without hitting the top speeds and for that they require a professional driver, preferably with recent F1 experience. So I dont understand their overdue and poor driver selection process.

  20. Indeed, what a shame and missed opportunity…

  21. hey would your american fans help me out here and contact USF1 with me and write an email saying that hey you wanna be open to your fans and draw in new fans in america who may have never been exposed to F1 but yet you are going to close them off to the first showing of an F1 car test in america of the first F1 team out of the USA in many many years. Just tell them you think its not right that we cant see a car that will be representing the USA and that as a fan you wanna be able to see and feel this joy of having a team back in the states. here is a link to where you can write them guys we are all a big family here so it would be awsome if you could help us american fans out that you all sometimes beat on a little for once it would be nice to have some help. thanks alot everyone

  22. Oh well…I got all excited for nothing.I don’t believe USF1 is starting out on the right foot to get the American public stirred into F1.Hopefully this is just a precaution to save face since it is the first time out.

  23. No one appears to be questioning Campos, yes they have signed Bruno Senna, but I have heard and seen more from USF1 than Campos.

    Peter Windsor knows the media inside out and I am sure that this is all a plan to keep everyone guessing. USF1 are probably laughing at all these comments about not being on the grid.

    I am sure that after the initial test, there will be plenty of opportunities to see them test in the future.

    1. That’s because Campos are buying in a chassis from Dallara. Dallara have an F1 spec factory, and have made F1 cars before. They always had a team principal with years of F1 experience at the sharp end. They have a driver signed who is marketable and reasonably talented. There’s plenty of speculation about Campos, but it’s all down to “do they have the money?”, whereas with USF1 it’s
      “Is there anything in their building?”
      “Why do they have stuff stacked against a wall in the corner instead of on a shelf?”
      “Why have they employed a bunch of guys with no experience when Brawn, BMW and Toyota just laid off about 700 staff between them?”
      “Did I really just see them going at a carbon fibre mould with an angle grinder?”
      “How did these guys get the nod over Lola?”

      1. I’m not American, but i really want to see USF1 prove people like you wrong!

  24. If this is confirmed, it is big missed opportunity for USF1 to fire up the local fan base and get them involved a little more directly.

  25. Seriously, people. The decision to test in private has nothing to do with fans, the press, potential embarrassment or even laps times. It’s a test. Might last one day, might last a few. May have a full crew, or not; pro drivers or not. They’ll be testing the car and all its components, and on an unknown track. It’s a race team at work, usually boring to watch, but crucial for development. Haven’t any of you ever worked on a race team?

  26. Whatever is going on at USF1 their actions are not those of a team confident in either their car or their team, and the lack of positive PR for them at this stage will only turn the fans perception of them into a joke if they don’t have a great start to the season. USF1 may end up causing more problems with the US markets, it will be difficult to expand the US market when their entry is a perceived failure by the rest of the global F1 fans.
    Personally I think USF1 will be a short lived project, but I hope i’m wrong.

  27. Folks, it’s Barber Motorsports Park that is saying the test will be closed to the public. The article does not say Peter Windsor or USF1 said the test is private…it says—–“Barber Motorsports Park has confirmed USF1’s test session at the track will not be open to the public. A circuit spokesperson said other details of the test have not been decided yet”.

    …circuit spokesperson…..

    What USF1 should do is 1) announce that it was the track and not them that made the test private and 2) set up a public launch in Charlotte (USA) BEFORE they go to Spain for the tests.

  28. Let’s wait to get the official test schedule from USF1, instead of jumping to conclusions. I am excited beyond belief at the thought of having an American F1 team! Evan as a die-hard NASCAR fan, I am an even bigger F1 fan (Yes we do exist)! I hope that USF1 has some type of launch or test session in the US that is open to the public. I would be the first one there! It appears that the launch of the USF1 challenger is one of the biggest stories of the offseason, and I’m sure that’s exactly what they were aiming for.

  29. I find it sad that people without the slighest factual information are somehow ‘in the know’ that USf1 will fail to even make it to Bahrain because they:

    a) dont have the talent


    b) dont have the money

    How do you know this?

    Have you been to the facility and spoken to all the team menbers?

    Have you some mysterious access to their check book?

    Dont you have anything better to do in life than to slag off a group of people you know nothing about? It makes you look a complete git.

    I agree with a previous poster who said that Windsor is laughing his ass off.

    I will wager a tenner to anyone who thinks USF1 wont be at Bahrain, any takers? Time to put your money where your mouth is.

    1. How do we know?

      Err… we watched their official “meet the team” and “behind the scenes” videos?
      Where they could only find one person with F1 experience to interview? And their shop was bare? And they had fewer computers than desks? And everyone looked incredibly nervous and shifty? And they still didn’t have a Team Principal, or pit crew, or… well, fill in the blanks….

      Like I said, I’m now a committed USF1 supporter, for pure comedy value and I hope beyond hope they get to Bahrain. But as they haven’t employed a pit crew or any drivers I’m not holding my breath.

  30. All of my anticipation is vested in a USF1 launch, Hopefully we can be able to be part of this event.

  31. if i were testing an f1 car, i wouldn’t invite you jerks either.

    1. “if i were testing an f1 car, i wouldn’t invite you jerks either.”

      And we love you, too, F1Yankee. :)

  32. Theres no such thing as bad PR :D

    The attention USF1 has received in the last few months is incredible. Not heard much from Campos and the whole Lotus thing has died down quite a bit. Peter Windsor knows what he is doing. Although I was cringing at the interviews around the office.

  33. I myself wanted to visit the facility as a fan of F1 and excited about having an American team. I sent 3 emails from their contact link and tried calling a couple of times to see if the facility was open to the public and fans, but have had no response. Anyone else tried?

  34. The museum (world class motorcycle collection)should be open at the track. Go there in hopes of a sight or sound of USF1 testing. The paddock area will probably be what is closed to the public. When Indy has tested at Barber’s in the past tickets were sold and the paddock was open to the public at no additional price. High turnout for those testing events resulted in Barber’s being added to Indy’s racing schedule.

  35. If someone discovers the date of the test please let us know. I’m in Atlanta, but my folks live 20 minutes from the track. I might need to visit the museum that day with my camera to shoot ‘um…. some motorcycles.

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