US F1 closes down

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US F1 has closed its factory less than two weeks before it was supposed to begin competing in Formula 1.

According to Autosport the remaining staff have been laid off. I have been trying to contact the team for several days without success.

There has not yet been an official announcement from the team.

It remains to be seen if there will be time for their entry to be taken up by Stefan GP with the first practice session at Bahrain just ten days away.

Read more: US F1 set to abandon F1 bid

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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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113 comments on “US F1 closes down”

  1. What a shame. Cue the serbian vultures!

    1. Stefan GP instead of USF1, from bad to worse. Mess just proves Max and FIA made a mess of giving out slots. Aston Martin and Lola are iconic motor racing names with the resources to compete not just make up the numbers.

      1. The new teams were selected because they had engine plans in place and no-one else even had that. Hindsight is great but no-one can really say for certain that Prodrive or whoever would have made it. It’s sad that a new team can’t race but 4 was quite a large number to bring in and it was always likely that at least one would fail because of the very ruthless nature of F1 but we should have three others so it isn’t the end of the world.
        Prodrive also had a chance before so it’s only fair someone else should have a go. Plus the idea of having a team from the US had the potential for massive benefits. If the US got interested in F1 with a national team (possibly a driver) and Montreal back on the calendar then that would pave the way for the return of the US GP. F1 needed something in the US if it was ever going to return so I’m glad they got a shot.
        Maybe more checks could have been in place or it shouldn’t have dragged out so long and in public as it was just more F1 bad news but I think he FIA were right to give out the slots, or at the very least I can’t critise them.

        1. yea, I agree. I don’t think any of the others are ready for 2010. I think the FIA need to restart the whole process for the 13th team for 2011 and let Prodrive, Lola, USF1, Stefan, Aston Martin and whoever else formulate a plan and bid on the slot…only this time, they need to make damn good and sure that the team is ready.

          1. I doubt there would be anywhere near as many applicants this time around. Most of the teams who applied for a place in 2010 were attracted by the budget cap making it affordable to compete in F1 at a respectable level. I believe Prodrive in particular have said that they will not apply without a budget cap. Ironically, USF1 said they were planning to apply for a spot in 2010 anyway, regardless of the rules.

          2. There IS a budget cap although they call it a “resource restriction agreement”. Budgets will come down to early 90’s levels.

            So Prodrive should be fine to enter.

        2. UneedAFinn2Win
          2nd March 2010, 21:33

          Engine plan ? You mean the “secret” deal between Max/Bernie and Cosworth not allowing any other new engine manufacturer on the grid as supplier to the new teams…

          1. That was the clincher, wasn’t it? Prodrive wanted to use engines other than Cosworth and were told you could not.

            The funny thing is I always thought it would be USF1 that would be the best prepared of the new teams, not the worst. The talk about a three year plan and all that made their prep seem methodical and well thought out.

            Like I’ve said in previous posts, after this debacle does Windsor have any credibility left in the F1 world? He might come looking to you for a job Keith…

          2. Prodrive had, an it has been confirmed, secured a Mercedes poweplant deal. Also as a fully active racing team there was no way they where going to fail.

            We nearly had Aston Martin in F1.

          3. They had a “conditional engine deal”, not a signed deal.

          4. Well yes and no Patrickl. Spending will be reduced greatly but it won’t be as quick as the budget cap meaning smaller teams and potential new teams still will suffer for a while yet.

      2. I’ll say it again. Imagine the outrage if USF1 hadn’t been given a spot on the grid. Probably the same people complaining that the FIA mucked up the selection process would be saying the FIA mucked up the selection process by NOT giving them the position.

        There would be cries of FIA bias, European-centric thinking, America-hating. The FIA could not have won in this situation. Believe it or not, they actually did do the right thing by giving USF1 the position. I don’t like to see USF1 fail, but the FIA would have been under even more criticism had USF1 not been selected in the first place.

  2. bring on Stephan GP and Villeneuve!!!

  3. Such a shame, job losses, and dreams gone!

    1. It is. All those people who worked on the car, but won’t get to see it even do one lap.

  4. Oh please please please let this mean we get Villeneuve.

    I mean Stefan with Toyota’s car will be oooh, mid to rear of field? But seriously that is an entertaining drive if ever I saw one. An that’ll mean we get another champion, he won’t be competing against the other but hey, the midfield isn’t going to be short on stars either now.

    An it’s becoming increasingly apparent that USF1 was the cause of its own demise. Hopefully Stefan gets their entry.

    1. Villeneuve couldn’t hack it in any car that wasn’t the ‘best car’ which he had when he was with Williams. He’d be a mobile chicane if he got back on the grid.

      1. Mobile chicane?! come on!

        1. Yes Mobile Chicane.

          What did he do in F1 when he left Williams. Answer, drove around and counted his money from BAR.

          He was good in Indy cars but apart from driving for Williams in the best car on the grid what did he actually do in F1.

          If he ends up in Stefan he’ll be at the back of the grid, probably over 5 seconds a lap slower than leading cars.

      2. I pretty much agree with your assessment, DavidT, with a few caveats.

        With talk of JV’s return mounting, now is as good a time as any to evaluate JV’s career. I would say that the major turning-point in JV’s career came in 2003. After publicly decrying Button (JB) as nothing but a ‘boy-band member’ who had little talent, JB signed for BAR Honda: a team that had not just been set-up around JV, but actually created for him. (Even Schumi never had that kind of treatment!) JV’s bravado came back to bite him, however, when JB scored double the points of JV; JB also beat JV in qualifying, although fuel was involved, and in fastest laps. This was a turning point because, before 2003, JV had almost always beaten his team-mates; after 2003, JV was beaten by all of his subsequent team-mates: Alonso, Massa, and Heidfeld.

        To lose to Alonso, you might think, is no disgrace. But then you must recall that JV was royally thrashed: Alonso scored 14 points to JV’s nil. JV’s best finish was 10th. He was white-washed by Alonso in fastest laps and out-qualified Alonso just once (with the aid of fuel) from their three races together. The battle with Massa was closer; but this was an unpolished Massa (can you polish a … I’ll let that one go!) JV even declared that Massa couldn’t drive ‘straight in a straight line’! In JV’s final year, Heidfeld scored almost twice as many points as JV did; then JV was sacked…

        People talk about JV’s glory days at Williams; but these weren’t, in fact, all that impressive. JV debuted, in 1996, with the all-conquering Williams, paired with Damon Hill: a very solid if unspectacular benchmark. Hill won the title by 19 points; won twice as many races; secured three times as many poles; and out qualified JV in 13 of the 16 races. (Now compare this debut to that of Lewis Hamilton against Alonso!) In the following year, his second, JV won the title with Williams. JV comprehensively beat Hill’s disappointing successor at Williams, H. H. Frentzen: JV scored almost double the points, seven times as many wins, and ten times as many poles. But JV won the title against Schumi almost completely by virtue of having a vastly superior car: at the opening round, at Melbourne, JV qualified (without race fuel remember) a full 2.1 second ahead of Schumi; to show that this was no fluke, he was a full 1.3 second ahead of Schumi come qualifying for the third race.

        Still, we must give JV credit for his spectacular performance at the title-decider at Jerez. JV kept his head throughout the high-pressure race-weekend, despite Irvine blocking him in practice and Fontana, using Ferrari engines (which I’m sure had nothing to do with anything!) blocking him, horrendously, in the race. It is often said that Schumi deliberately crashed into JV as a final measure to stop the Canadian winning the race and the championship; and that, of course, Schumi was at fault. But if you look closely at the replay, it’s clear that JV braked so late, in an effort to get alongside Schumi, that JV clearly wasn’t going to be able to make the corner: he was travelling too quickly. And, as a result, even if Schumi had wanted to, Schumi likely wasn’t able to avoid a collision. But JV’s daring move made Schumi panic; and Schumi deliberately tried to hit the Williams. Consequently, the victim was forced into becoming the villain. JV won the title; Schumi was disqualified. And it was all JV’s fault. Brilliant stuff! The like of which we have rarely seen.

        JV is now quite old, close to 39, and lacks recent experience of F1, having been forced out in 2006. I really can’t see him performing all that well. I bet that he’s praying for a hopeless team-mate…

        1. Quite brilliant, I must say. Although I’ve actually developed a soft spot for Jacques now I’m no longer a 10-year old Hill fan or an 11-year old Schumacher fan, I can only see his worth in coming back in his experience to set up Stefan GP. He might be another champion, but even though it’s unparalleled anyway, this would be nothing like Schumacher’s return.

        2. what are talking about???total crap…

          1. @watdaF

            Alistair’s post made a lot of sense, though. Far more than I can say about what you wrote.

        3. Of course J.V braked late-thats called outbraking your opponent.Frm what I recall J.V doesent make an of course excursion or did Michael hitting him help J.V slow enough 2 remain on v track?J.V before v race said Michael would hit him if he tried 2 pass him and thats exactly what Michael did.Now, how many of J.V’s vastly superior teamates have won an INDYCAR crown,INDY 500 and an F1 WDC. ZERO!

          1. ‘Of course J.V braked late-thats called outbraking your opponent.’

            There’s braking late; and then there’s heading for Portugal.

            ‘Frm what I recall J.V doesent make an of course excursion or did Michael hitting him help J.V slow enough 2 remain on v track?’

            I believe so.

            ‘JV before v race said Michael would hit him if he tried 2 pass him and thats exactly what Michael did’.

            But Schumi wasn’t necessarily at fault. It sounds like JV may have been planning his strategy well before the race, instead of it being a spontaneous decision.

            ‘Now, how many of J.V’s vastly superior teamates have won an INDYCAR crown,INDY 500 and an F1 WDC. ZERO!’

            Are you suggesting that (given the right car) such ‘achievements’ are or were beyond Alonso and co!? Motoring success in America means very little in F1 circles. Very, very few drivers from American series, least of all American drivers, are successful in F1. But decidedly average or even bad F1 drivers can be successful in American racing…

        4. JV is now quite old, close to 39, and lacks recent experience of F1, having been forced out in 2006. I really can’t see him performing all that well. I bet that he’s praying for a hopeless team-mate…

          To show that words, like figures, can be manipulated to produce almost any result, please consider the following:

          Schumi is now quite old, close to 42 , and lacks recent experience of F1, having been forced out in 2006. I really can’t see him performing all that well. I bet that he’s praying for a hopeless team-mate…

          Interesting, don’t you think?

          1. Drob, we all know that words and numbers may be (properly or improperly) manipulated to show (almost) any result. But sometimes words and numbers are only meant to be applied to one person or situation and to do otherwise would be to err: to mistakenly suggest that the original person was commenting on a trend when he was simply commenting on a specific case that isn’t transposable.

            As it happens, I don’t think that Schumi will perform well. That’s not to say that wins, podiums, poles, and even the championship are out of the question. For as we all know, in F1, the car is all-important: Eddie Irvine almost became WDC for goodness’ sake. I really don’t think that Schumi will be anywhere near what he was at his peak. At the peak of his powers (perhaps ‘95 in terms of raw speed) he would have thrashed a driver of Rosberg’s calibre. However, in 2010, I think that there’ll only be a matter of tenths between them. And Rosberg has done nothing in his F1 career to suggest that he’s a top driver…much like all of Schumi’s previous team-mates.

        5. Villeneuve’s ego was his worst enemy, no question. But he was still a young man when he won the Championship and I think that his then-manager Craig Pollock pointed him in some very bad directions – that guy always had something slimy about him in my eyes.

          But, Alistair, “Consequently, the victim was forced into becoming the villain. JV won the title; Schumi was disqualified. And it was all JV’s fault.”

          You have to be joking, right? The victim forced into becoming a villain? Did you write this post close to the CERN Large Hadron Collider? Because I think that’s the only thing remotely capable of bending the fabric of reality far enough to produce this logic. “He tried to pass me, so I had to panic and try to take him out”? Sorry, but the only word for that is ridiculous.

          1. My logic is sound. Study the replays: JV deliberately braked too late to take the corner properly – if at all. As a result, it’s highly unlikely that Schumi could have avoided the collision, given JV’s trajectory and speed. What makes many people think that it was Schumi’s fault is a) prejudice, given Schumi’s history; b) that naughty Schumi clearly turned in on JV. My argument is that JV put Schumi in a position where Schumi couldn’t have avoided a collision, regardless of whether he had deliberately turned into JV or not. Hence, JV was at fault for the collision and was very lucky not to have damaged his car, which only makes it an even ballsier move. It was a brilliant move: to out-think and panic Schumi into condemning himself and taking the blame for the collision that JV orchestrated!

            My opinion may be unorthodox; but that doesn’t make it wrong. I believe it to be true, as do many commentators (not all of whom are German!), posters with whom I have discussed this, and Schumi himself. Indeed, in an interview, Schumi has correctly said that ‘JV used him as braking’.

            And I say all of this as an erstwhile Damon Hill fan!

          2. @Alistair

            I just re-watched the video of their coming together – and I have to say that if we are watching the same thing, we’re certainly seeing different things you and I.

            The whole thing plays out at 0:15 to 0:17 secs on this video.

            At 0:15 Villeneuve has fully pulled up alongside Schumacher, Villeneuve being clearly on the inside going into the curve, Schumacher clearly outside. Schumacher then moves way over to the inside and his front wheel hits Villeneuve’s sidepod. Now, you argumentation may be well worded, but from what I’m seeing it just does not correspond to reality.

        6. While I’m a JV fan, I agree with most of what you said. However, having watched the Jerez incident live on TV and having replayed it at least 100 times, I think you’ve over-analysed it.

          First, there is no way of knowing whether he could have made it through that corner. But I find it strange that people credit the impact with MS as having slowed him down in order to make the corner. It was a side impact, and if anything, that would have increased the load on his tires, not reduced it, as the tires would have been forced to compensate for the lateral impact as well as for the forward load.

          The notion that he would have out-braked himself is impossible to assess and was a desperate excuse from MS as to why he turned in on him.

          As to MS’s mental state when he turned in on JV, there are an abundance of examples, pre and post, that demonstrate that questionable ethics and overly-aggressive driving are a trait MS commonly adopts when under pressure.

          As far as JV’s age and experience, I find your assessment disingenuous, unless you are also willing to assert that a 42-year-old MS with no recent F1 experience since 2006 (other than the last 3 weeks of testing) will also fail in performing to his previous standard. Not equating the two, but just sayin’…

          1. ‘As far as JV’s age and experience, I find your assessment disingenuous, unless you are also willing to assert that a 42-year-old MS with no recent F1 experience since 2006 (other than the last 3 weeks of testing) will also fail in performing to his previous standard. Not equating the two, but just sayin’…’ (spudw).

            Indeed, I have said (above, in fact) that it is my belief that Schumi will not perform anywhere near the level at which he performed at his peak: I don’t expect him to give Rosberg the thrashing that Schumi circa ‘95 would have unleashed, for example.

            As for the Jerez ‘97 debate, we seem to have a healthy difference of opinion! Believe me, as a former Damon Hill fan, it gives me no pleasure, whatsoever, in defending Schumi! But I have to stay true to the truth as I see it: as you do. I have only a little to add to the case that I have already stated.

            First, it’s interesting that Schumi describes Jerez ‘97, over any previous incident in his long and incident-packed (to put it mildly) F1 career, as his greatest regret. Now, we will no doubt disagree as to why this may or should be the case. But I agree with Schumi’s explanation: he shouldn’t have turned into JV. But there is more to the incident than this simple move: I also agree with Schumi that his turning-in to JV has been singled-out, wrongly, as the defining moment of the collision, when, in reality, I would argue that the event of their colliding was set into motion by Villeneuve’s turn of the wheel, not Schumi’s.

            Second, one might be tempted to shun my explanation for fear that it puts JV in the moral wrong and Schumi in the moral right (the audacity!) for the Jerez incident; but this is not so. Though my explanation puts the moral blame for the collision on JV and not Schumi, it only does so only up to the point at which Schumi made the decision to turn-in to JV. On my explanation of the events, JV maintains moral integrity and demonstrates a lot more cunning, bravado, and originality than he does on the view where he merely ‘sent one up on the in side of Schumi’. After all, that’s not very impressive, in itself: DC and Montoya have managed that. Consequently, it would be a mistake if anyone thought that adopting my view does a disservice to JV’s character, which, to be fair, is a prima facie assumption that one might make. On the contrary, adopting my view elevates the move from a mere dive down the inside to a piece of driving excellence. This being so, we each have to adopt the explanation that we each think best fits the facts. To do otherwise, of course, would be to commit the fallacy of wishful thinking.

            I mentioned some ‘authority’ which supported my view. I identify the following from two well-published authors: Driven to Extremes, by James Allen, and Michael Schumacher : Rise of a Genius, by Luc Domenjoz. I cite this ‘authority’ only to show that my view is not ‘loopy’: it has been put into print by respected F1 journalists. My view is unorthodox, yes; but I see that as a positive, not as a negative.

            Anyway, I respect that you (spudw, maciek, and others) are persuaded by a different explanation to mine. But discussing these theories is part of the fun of being an F1 aficionado, as we all are.

            Bring on 2010. Lewis FTW.

    2. Bernie wants JV and Stefan GP in F1. And what Bernie wants: Bernie tends to get.

      If nothing else, JV is a ‘character’, not a PR-Robot like pretty much all the other drivers.

      1. I always liked Villeneuve and I’d love to see him back. I agree largely with your assessment of his downfall, though I would also cite the signing of Panis in 2001 as another major factor – Panis was a huge team player, highly likeable and very adept at car development, and signing him undermined JV’s role of building the team to his liking as it unintentionally weakened his position in the team.

        Up to that point Jacques was still a fine driver – I think he was ranked extremely high (possibly top 5?) in Autocourse’s driver ranking in 2000. The whole debacle with Button in 2003 did seem to knock him though.

        1. Alistair, I think your overall analysis of JV was excellent and well argued.

          But regarding the collision in Jerez, frankly I’m sick of hearing the argument that so-and-so was never going to make the corner anyway, as if this (even if there were some magical way to substantiate it, which of course there isn’t), would somehow exonerate the guy who turned in on a desperate case.

          I remember the same cack being claimed on Prost’s behalf when he closed the door on Senna at Suzuka in 89 and took them both out. It’s garbage and the retort is simple: so, let the guy go off then, he’s only on his way to the boonies, and you can simply duck behind him and sail to victory, can’t you?

          Never made any sense that one, sorry. And don’t tell me the guy on the outside doesn’t have that option/ has no way of judging the passer’s approach speed/ has insufficient room or whatever. This is elementary racing stuff, go-kart stuff, and I know this because I raced karts for many many years. It’s the simplest thing and it’s actually surprising how easily you can tell if someone is outbraking themselves and let them fly off or just lose time running too deep. It happens all the time and it’s beyond second nature to proper racing drivers.

          Truth is that Michael knew full well he was being outbraked, would lose the WDC from there, and that wouldn’t do, would it?

  5. The circle of life is complete!

    It is a sad day for us Yankee F1 hermits!

    But – on the bright side – maybe Peter will be back on Speed with his pre-race walks!

    1. no he wont! somebody whose blog i read got the seat yesterday!

      1. Will Buxton

        1. although, Mr Buxton has just fathered a baby, and wont be on the grid until Shanghai, so even though I’m sure Speed will keep to their word. There is an outside chance Pete could be back on Speed (so to speak).

          Having said that, I’m not sure there is much motivation for Pete to come back to Speed, and been show himself after such a failure. :(

          Can’t help feel sorry for Pete Winsor, and the other well motivated individuals. Looks like Ken Anderson seems to have been the bottleneck.

          1. When you think about it what did Peter Windsor do, secured the backing of Chad Hurley, those swiss guys, Rositer, Lopez, secured Cosworth power, an provided Ken Anderson pretty damn good facilities. Did he claim to be able to build a car no, left it to people who claimed they could.

            What did Anderson do, balls it up

  6. Eje Gustafsson
    2nd March 2010, 20:03

    Bummer. But it started to become obvious in the last month that they probably wouldn’t happen this year. Only thing that would saved them was a deal with SteafanGP it seemed in the last two weeks but it the talk breaking down it was imminent for failure. Would have liked to see a US team but guess it wasn’t to happen.

    1. so a deal qith stefanGP results in an American team? Why not a Serbian team?
      or for that matter a german or Japanese one?

      1. Bartholomew
        2nd March 2010, 20:56

        How about a Serbian-American team with the best of both ?

  7. Shame for US fans, but if they couldn’t put together a car with the amount of time they had, then 2011 wasn’t a realistic option either.

    Would still like to see 13 teams, but don’t see FiA or FOTA being willing to grant such a late entry to Stefan F1 (still prefer ‘Zoran F1’, could have mad Christopher Walken as one of the drivers ;) ).

    1. I absolutely LOVE the Walken idea.

  8. so Ferrari were not so wrong with their statement then. Good bye to teams that want to crawl into a sport they don’t even understand. Oh I forgot the USA rules the world.

    1. couldn’t have said it better.

    2. That nut on the Ferrari website is just that … a nut.

      I hope Ferrari has more dignity than their pathetic website seems to display.

    3. It turns out that Ferrari were right about USF1, although the manner in which Ferrari expressed their concerns seemed to rub some people up the wrong way…

      1. Well, by the time the Ferrari “horse whisperer” article was publicised, everybody following the news new, that USF1 were not going to make it. Hardly Ferrari’s achievement.

        The comments about “limping” teams Lotus and Virgin is very much unfair and Campos (“Hispanics”) will probably by on the grid in Bahrain (proving Ferrari wrong there), even though it might just get to the start and strand there.

    4. See now there a good example of what’s been wrong with so many USF1 comments – you take a bad attempt at building an F1 team and make it about some perceived US ego thing, as if the people involved in the team were somehow responsible for George W. Bush… perhaps this is one thing I didn’t miss about Europe: EVERYTHING gets painted in national colours here.

      1. USF1 hopeful
        5th March 2010, 12:33

        Ferrari is just plain jealous of USF1’s red new car

  9. Can’t tell you how sad this makes me :(. It sucks having an international sport with nobody from your country to root for.

    1. Well I’ve never had anyone from my country to root for in f1. The only man there from my country was a team owner many many years before I was born.

  10. I feel bad for the employees and everybody who believed in these fools. Nice way to crush a dream. Another nail in the coffin for formula 1 returning to the US in my opinion. Lets hope I’m proven wrong.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      2nd March 2010, 20:30

      Agreed, it’s the employees I feel sorry for. It’s pretty tough to find a job these days and a lot of them must have left one to join USF1.

  11. So Sad to see this happen. The Biggest economy on the planet can’t afford to sponsor a F1 Team. Something is really wrong somewhere.

    I really hoped the small teams will make it and prove Ferrari’s Arrogance wrong. Looks like Luca and Co are right.

    1. Accidental Mick
      3rd March 2010, 18:22

      I would imagine that it was more a case of possible sponsors having a good look at the team and deciding for themselves that USF1 was unlukely to make it.

  12. I feel sorry for the staff.

    I think the FIA/FOM made a right mess of this. 6 months to produce an entry was unrealistic. For anyone

    1. Lotus dit it in 5!

      1. Doing it in a short timeframe was indeed possible (Lotus proved it), but one would have to know who to do things correctly and where to compromise on his ambitions, in order to be ready in time.

        Lotus used the services of well-known companies with plenty of experience (Fondtech, XTrac, …), concentrated on getting the car designed and built and the operations running. More specifically, they used existing groups on aspects that require team work, and getting a team to work together efficiently is probably the longest part of the exercise.
        At the other end, USF1 got a very small, mostly inexperienced team (70 people), and decided to design and build their own gearbox which is a very complex and specific exercise. Yes, they told about using a company to outsource CFD, and all the local competences around their factory ; but CFD (or a wind tunnel) doesn’t design a car, it only tests what your aerodynamicists design.

        The impression I get is that they seriously underestimated the complexity and difficulty of the task, lacked organisation and planning, and didn’t see the hard wall they were running into.

        On top of it, most comments from Anderson about all F1 teams using lots of things coming from the US were complete lies, starting with him pretending that McLaren Electronics is based there. That certainly didn’t raise my confidence in them…

        1. McLaren Electronics dose indeed have a US-specific operation located just up the road from Charlotte, and many other components that are used in F1 are either made there or can be made there. That part of it was 100% correct, despite what many anti-American fans would want you to believe. But apparently, Anderson had no clue about how to put all those resources to good use…that will (and indeed has, many times) sink a team no matter where you base it out of.

          1. McLaren does have a base in the US, but all the F1 ECUs are designed (and produced, I believe) in the UK. I should know, I had a job interview there.

            That all the parts can be designed and produced in the US, there is no doubt about it. That many of them actually are produced there, then shipped to the UK, making is easier for USF1, like Anderson claimed. Hmmm, no, I don’t think so. Nothing anti-American there, just refuting the claims that “it’s easier because they are in the US” when they don’t make sense.

          2. I diden’t say there was anything anti-American in your comments, or in any others on the page at the moment. But there are plenty of them out there…that’s all.

  13. halifaxf1fan
    2nd March 2010, 20:30

    welcome back Jacques!

  14. It looks like The Horse Whisperer’s rant was “partly” well founded, if a little harsh in places.

    It’s a shame.

    The FIA have really messed up here.

    Imagine if the breakaway series had gone ahead.
    How many other USF1’s could there have been? The FIA would have been rightly stuffed then…..

  15. This is a real shame for the factory workers. It’s those hard workers who I really feel sorry for.

  16. Why didn’t the FIA give the place to a proper motor racing team like Lola or Prodrive, where we’d see good cars and good racing, and the ASTON MARTIN marque in F1

    1. everyone keeps saying this, but I’m pretty sure they were not ready and did not have cash either.

      1. Like everyone else, Prodrive would have been screwed by the sudden disappearance of the budget cap. Even if the application process was opened up again for 2011 I doubt Prodrive would apply without a budget cap in place.

        1. Like I said, there is the “resource restriction agreement” in place.

          Look at Virgin’s budget. They claim to be operating on the budget (resource level) as should be in place at the end of the glide path.

        2. If you can produce an F1 car for £60M with a budget cap then you can produce a car for £60M without a budget cap.

          1. There’s not much incentive to do that when others are spending three times as much.

          2. @vxr


  17. Not unexpected news!

    I feel for the American fans; however, I’m not sad that USF1 is no more (or never was). The team was just a gimmick: a medium of getting American drivers into F1, by virtue of their nationality, not necessarily their talent. F1 is supposed to be the ‘pinnacle of motor sport’, not a training ground: that’s what the junior series are for. USF1 hopelessly underestimated the challenge of setting-up an F1 team and competing in the F1 World Championship. And it was largely through the machinations of the former FIA President that gave USF1 and the other newcomers a grid slot over more deserving candidates, in the first place. Many people are welcoming the new teams with open arms. But what’s so great about having cars that are 4-6 seconds per lap slower than the front-runners? What’s so great about the return of pay-drivers? It makes one have greater respect for the ‘achievements’ of Minardi…

    PS. Regarding the ‘Lotus’ drivers, out of Jarno and Heikki, which driver will go backwards quickest in a race?! Just a joke; but I reckon it will be Jarno: I think Lewis made Heikki look ordinary, since Lewis is extraordinary.

    1. I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said about USF1 except for the American drivers part…Windsor talked alot about that at first, but his comments on Kyle Busch and Danica Patrick showed just how removed from reality he was on the subject. When it became apparent that they were just looking for pay drivers, it showed that they had little interest in developing American talent.

      I thought it made sense for the team to go with two experienced guys to start with and keep an American in the team as a reserve/tester, like Lotus has done with FF. However, Anderson/Windsor had little desire to even do that.

    2. “what’s so great about having cars that are 4-6 seconds per lap slower than the front-runners?”

      I’m sure it will do more for overtaking in F1 than all of the aero restrictions we have seen in recent years managed.. lol

  18. his_majesty
    2nd March 2010, 20:53

    Reading that the two head hanchos of usf1 weren’t even there to give them the news. That seems very very small. I lost respect for peter a long time ago but still had respect for ken anderson. That has been flushed down the toilet. My shop was closed down last year, at least the company owner came and told all of us face to face like a MAN.

    1. Quite right. Glad your employer had the decency to thank you all for your work before imparting this sad news.

      Good luck in finding, well, given the climate, just finding. My best wishes are with you, as busy doing the same.

      1. his_majesty
        2nd March 2010, 23:59

        I actually own my own business now. It’s not quite wrenching on cars anymore, but love it.

  19. Because there are enough teams based in the UK as it is. USF1 was an attempt to get a team based outside Europe. If/when USF1 makes it to the grid in 2011, it could open up the possibility of mfg teams in other parts of the world, following the trend of races spreading out to more places outside Europe.

    In the meantime, someone needs to put Peter Windsor on suicide watch.

  20. well hopefully USF1 will be better prepared for 2011, but if they dont get ahead they will be back runners for 2011 as well which i think is a shame since Europe vs America always brings more money.

  21. Can’t help feel sorry for Pete Winsor, and the other well motivated individuals. Looks like Ken Anderson seems to have been the bottleneck?

  22. Not surprised…
    Bring on Bahrain now!

  23. Prisoner Monkeys
    2nd March 2010, 21:38

    I’m not heartbroken.

  24. So how long will it take before Campos do the same (if they haven’t already done so)?

  25. Last year we had three new teams on the entry list. Seriously, who would have thought back then that the unknown Manor Team would show up at the second test together with Red Bull while the headline-grabbing USF1 team would end up as propably the most farcial F1 attempt of the decade?

    I didn’t expect this.

  26. I don’t care. I mean, both Stefan GP and USF1 are teams that didn’t do any testing. They will not contribute anything except being obstacles on the road for the other 11 teams (yes, including Virgin). I do think that it might be slightly better with Stefan GP since they won’t have an all (not very promising) rookie lineup with Jacques Villeneuve. He was a former world champion but not the best driver ever IMO. Campos/Hispania (or whatever the hell they call it) and Stefan GP/USF1 will provide a huge amount of entertainment, just not of the good kind. It would be a HUGE surprise if they aren’t 7 or 8 seconds behind on the other teams and if they make it to the finish of any race. I say disqualify them and let them try again next year.

    1. Stefan GP have had a car and a driver for a while and would have had a few days testing last week – but they couldn’t get a tyre deal. Plus their car is basically the Toyota TF110, so it shouldn’t be that bad. And, with the “Hispania” being built by Dallara, I dont think that will be too disasterous either.

      1. While Stephan GP won’t set any speed records, I wouldn’t paint them with the same brush as Campos and USF1.

        Stephanovic bought into a good deal on what is likely a reasonable F1 car and is ready to go. Compared to the out-sourcing Campos and the disaster that is USF1, it looks like it should be a fairly credible F1 operation. Stephanovic is obviously an astute operator, as he got the deal with Toyota that either Campos or USF1 should have had were they not asleep at the switch.

        Were it not for contractual restrictions on tires, Stephan would have had some testing under their belt in advance of Bahrain.

  27. I am not surprised to hear about the demise of USF1. Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson weren’t ever going to fool anybody by saying that they would be on the grid. They just made themselves look even more stupid. Peter Windsor is a good journalist. That is a good journalist, NOT team principal. I think Formula 1 has tried enough to establish itself in the US and it is just not meant to be so they should stop wasting time and money trying.

    Stefan GP I think should be on the grid. They clearly took the initiative in purchasing the remains of Toyota rather than trying (and ultimately failing) to design and build their own chassis.
    And we mustn’t forget that Stefan GP won’t be trundling around at the back 7/8 seconds off the pace. Why? Because the car was designed by Toyota, and I can’t see it being worse than the Campos car, Lotus car or Virgin car.

    That leads me smoothly onto the next point. Campos. Whilst they are saying they will be ready for Bahrain. It is only 10 days until the practice and they haven’t released images of their car, launched their team officially or even signed a second and third driver. Will they be on the grid? Time will tell, however, for their second driver I think Adam Carroll deserves the drive. Surely Adam Carroll was a more deserving A1 GP champion than Jenson Button was a Formula 1 champion. And why should he suffer just because his last success came over a year ago.

    Looking ahead to the Bahrain gp, I think Felipe Massa will be the man to beat. This is because he is a past winner at the track, the Ferrari has been looking like the best car (unless Mercedes can put the cat amongst the pigeons with their new “super diffuser”) and the fact that Fernando Alonso has never been able to manage tyres effectively on heavy fuel (Monaco 2005 as a prime example). Michael Schumacher’s fitness is yet to be proved, however I do think he will pass the first race with flying colours. Red Bull appear to have been extremely unreliable (the worst of the existing teams) in testing and the heat of Bahrain will be a very tough test on their engine (which is notably weak). McLaren, I have my doubts about. Button has historically performed well in Bahrain and I think could out perform Hamilton. The car itself baffles me. Why would McLaren use all of their fancy contraptions if the car is performing well. I think they have aerodynamic problems which need fixed.

    Certainly the season will be incredible and I cannot wait for it to start next week.

    Ps does anybody else know if the BBC Classic F1 feature will start tomorrow for voting?

  28. i didn’t want to believe the stories, but once again, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” i’m very interested in what charlie has to say, either directly or through the fia. this is a massive disappointment.


  29. Give it to Stefan – the little boys ARE needed in F1 just as much as Ferrari. Sanitising it so we have nothing but £150million budgeted teams takes away chance of an upset – i.e. the team surviving on £50 a week gaining a point or even a podium.

    This surely makes USF1 even worse than Lola and Andrea Moda?!

    1. Aleksandar Serbia
      3rd March 2010, 0:11

      Big hug, thanx man :)

  30. Sad news, especially for the staff. Hopefully now Stefan can get on the grid (and employ USF1 workers made redundant), and hopefully the USA will be back to build up its presence in F1 once more.


    Made me giggle a bit, but USF1 being over is kinda sad. I did want them to do well when they were announced, but ah well.. (G’won Stefan/ lotus :D)

  32. Gman, who usually argues with me ;-) is right – the location wasn’t the problem, it was the geese in charge. I wouldn’t like to call Anderson and Windsor liars, but they are cowards who didn’t even deliver the bad news to the 60 people now out of work (if Autosport is to be believed). The whole thing was a stunt, they chanced their arm and they should now be made to pay. All Windsor and Anderson ever talked about was their dream to go racing. I don’t think they could put together a V8 Supercar team let alone a F1 team. I think even if they had the money they’d screw it up. With all the stories flying around, it seems they had $16m of driver money (over a third of their planned budget) and allegedly had Hurley money (I don’t think they ever had any folding from him, to be brutally honest). And they still messed it up. The skunkworks approach was complete nonsense.

    A properly funded American team with smart people and no egos would and could be great. I still think USF1 was fundamentally flawed in its logistics and plans to operate two bases and all that rubbish.

    Big time.

    As for the Stefan GP antipathy…well, I’m not sure what to make of it. They’ll probably be faster than Lotus from Bahrain to Spain and that’s no insult to Lotus – Toyota spent a lot of money on that car, one imagines. But if the Gascoyne effect takes hold, Sauber, Williams and Renault better watch out.

    I want a full grid – don’t you all?

    1. See, we can indeed get along, haha ;)

      Indeed, my point is that, while things like the location were much different than other F1 teams, USF1 has flopped for the exact same reason as most other F1 flops have…mismanagement of one sort or another. I have no doubt the guys on the shop floor worked as hard as anyone on the project, but if the people at the top can’t make even basic decisions, it all won’t amount to anything at the end of the day.

      If the project had the proper funding and competent management- as I thought for so long it did- it could have been a fantastic concept. But apparently, all the talk at the beginning was just that- talk. Either that or a whole house of cards came falling down- I suppose we’ll find out the whole story somewhere down the road.

      1. The whole story? From Windsor? Not likely. According to Autoweek, he’s already abandoned the place and is presumably going cap in hand to some media outlet. I think Bernie should ban him from the paddock for bringing the sport into disrepute.

  33. Bring Srefan GP on Bahrain,but with no testing will they be competitive?

    Any news on Campos ?

  34. Terribly unshocking. Didn’t call this as the finish before it started.

    pathetic. and yet, as an American I feel happy as this is less embarrassment than the team would be if it hit the grid.

    good riddance.

  35. How did this end up happening? Weren’t Windsor and Anderson planning on entering F1 for the past few years? I was under the impression that the idea behind USF1 was born long before all the issues last year which ended up with the FIA opening more spots on the grid. How could this team, which I thought had been in the works for years, have failed so miserably when teams like Lotus and Virgin, who only found out a couple of months ago that they were joining F1, have cars running and ready to go.

    I hate to say it, but Ferrari is right. USF1 is out, Campos has yet to be seen, and if I remember correctly, Trulli said his car is 4 seconds off the pace. Virgin has yet to inspire me either. Maybe the next time the FIA decides to add 6 cars to the grid, they will pay more attention to Pro Drive and Lola.

    Even better, if Todt were to make nice with the manufacturers, he could go after VW, which I heard rumors about looking at F1, and to finally have a presence in the US, Ford.

    1. Do you seriously believe, that any new team, save one using customer cars, can be anywhere near the pace right from the start?

      While 4 seconds seems a lot, and takes an enormous amount of work to bridge, it is actually less than 5 % of the laptime.

      Branson had a point there, stating the handicap of the new teams not to be able to test more than the established teams and catch them up.
      As can be expected in the highest level of Motorsport, experience at this level is needed to be at the top of the grid.
      That is what makes the top outfits, i.e. the teams of McLaren and Ferrari, Mr. Brawn, Mr. Newey.

      1. Thing is though, it’s been said in the past that it’s easier to close up from the back of the pack than it is to move from mid-field to front-runner.

        So I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Lotus and (perhaps) Virgin closing that gap quite quickly…

  36. I remember McLaren being 2.5 to 3 seconds off the pace at the beginning of last season. Terrible it was, and so embarrassing. They should never have been allowed to start the season. LOL

    And the less said about their 95 season etc, the better.

  37. Well, it sure would be good to eventually see an investigative journalism piece that would reconstruct what happened at USF1, from its inception to its demise… it could then be mandated as required reading for all hopeful F1 entrants as a “How not to do it” reader.

    Really feel sorry for all F1 fans in the States.

  38. Well I suppose the only thing left is for USF1 to be officially withdrawn from the Championship. I am sad that they have failed but the writing has been on the wall for a while.

    The focus will now be on whether Stefan GP are allowed to race, I hope they are as I would like a full grid and it seems people like Ecclestone will be trying to make it happen so that will increase their chances, but this being F1 I don’t know what will happen.

  39. I’m getting pretty tired of reading “The FIA have made a mess of the selection procedure”. No they didn’t, they simply decided on it, operated it and this is the mess the entrants have got themselves into. Who the hell are the FIA supposed to be, God? They are a regulatory body not a Mummy to wipe everybody’s noses.

  40. Finally sick of hearing about usf1 obviously the problems are with the management of usf1 they had more time then the other teams starting out and always saying that they are ahead of schedula and will be their on the starting of the grid and look what happens …..promises promises and now the end oh well only i feel sorry for all the workers that were promised big things and now no jobs shame on u usf1

  41. Hate to say it, but I doubted them from the begining. Windsor and Anderson spent too much time in TV interviews talking up a minimalist F1 team concept and too little time establishing the credibility they would need to bring on sponsors and deliver a car on time.

    What is infuriating is that a team that has failed spectacularly continues to have the arrogance to stand in the way of a team that has resources, a car and a former world champion driver ready to go. Stephan GP was even ready to test and would have had more laps on their car than Hispania (nee Campos) and as many as Lotus and Virgin. The FIA should have waved the blue flag on USF1 weeks ago.

    Sad state of affairs…

  42. now how about them toasters!!

  43. Bravo USF1.bravo FIA,what a dreamers.I feel sorry for Stefan GP.

  44. And so they should give the spare grid position to Stephan GP…

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