The Sad Demise of the American USF1 Formula 1 Team
Topics: USF1 Team
June 25, 2010
Formula 1 has always seemed to have a hostile relationship with America. It is difficult to know why, but there certainly seems to be a curse associated with the relationship. The news in 2009 that an American Formula 1 team would be launched was met with much ado. Alas, the USF1 Team never even made to the track and has now been permanently banned from the sport.
The team was the idea of Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson. Both had a long history in motorsports and Windsor in particular had been involved in the running of major teams like McLaren. The two promised a new way of running a team in a financially responsible manner. The promises were never kept.
USF1 looked to be in trouble from the start. Part of it was pure bad luck and a certain lack of common sense. Launching a Formula 1 team in the middle of the Great Recession was not exactly a move that forecast success. The fact the team ran into funding problems almost immediately could only have been a surprise to Windsor and Anderson. They obviously thought they had backing when they really did not.
Following the failure to make the grid, USF1 was a going concern in name only. Eventually, the World Motor Sport Council launched an investigation into what went wrong. It has just released its findings and they are not pleasant. The investigators determined Windsor and Anderson had badly underestimated the cost of launching and running a team, and thus had no realistic hope of every making the grid. Given this, the council fined the team 225,000 pounds and barred it from ever competing in the championship in the future.
So, now what? Will we see another American Formula 1 team launched at some point? It seems very unlikely. The only hope would seem to be a groundswell of support arising from the new race to be held in Austin, Texas for the next 10 years. Based on past excursions into the United States by F1, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.
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