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USF1 co-founder: Most F1 technology from US anyway

Ken Anderson has dismissed suggestions that being based the other side of the Pond to all other grand prix teams will be an instant disadvantage when USF1 takes to the starting grid in the top flight – instead claiming that 'most of the technology in Formula 1 comes from the United States to begin with'.

Some within the sport have greeted with incredulity the news that Anderson and USF1 co-founder Peter Windsor are planning to launch a new team at the pinnacle of international motorsport, particularly at a time of such economic uncertainty, when sponsors are unlikely to be easily found.

The first US-based Formula 1 outfit since the short-lived, Teddy Mayer-run Team Haas Lola/Beatrice more than two decades ago will be based in Charlotte, North Carolina, the heart of NASCAR country. That is where the cars will be both designed and built, an ocean away from the F1 heartland of Europe and, more specifically, England – with the knock-on required time and cost of travel and transport an added concern.

That has prompted a good degree of cynicism about just how much of a serious endeavour USF1 is, or whether it is merely an extravagant media ploy, but Anderson – who has previously acted as technical director at firstly Ligier and then Onyx at the end of the 1980s and a man with vast design and engineering experience in both IndyCar and NASCAR circles – is adamant that the project is very much a realisable one.

“Most of the technology in Formula 1 comes from the United States to begin with,” he explained in an interview on SPEED TV to officially launch the new venture. “We live in an age of FedEx, DHL, UPS, so the logistics side is pretty simple, and as of next year less than half of the races will be on the continent, so there's less reason for being there.

“Whether it's going to Australia from here or from England is kind of a moot point, [but] the cost of doing business in the United States is significantly cheaper than in Europe, and there are a lot of good people here.”

Indeed, it was Anderson who designed and built the state-of-the-art, 100 per cent scale Windshear wind tunnel in North Carolina, which has already been used by other F1 teams. Former Williams and Ferrari team manager Windsor – a man, moreover, with a good deal of experience in attracting sponsorship – explained that the inspiration behind USF1 is that of trying to recreate America's past glories in the sport.

Aside from world champions Phil Hill and Mario Andretti, he also pointed to such as Dan Gurney, Richie Ginther, Peter Revson and Masten Gregory in evoking the US' long and rich heritage in F1. The current perception of the States within the sport, however, is one of the recent failures of Michael Andretti and Scott Speed to make the grade – and that is a perception that Windsor aims to turn firmly on its head.

“Both of us grew up with a passion for Formula 1,” the SPEED TV commentator stated, “and for what the great names achieved. That's what it's all about, but how do you put together a Formula 1 team? That's an interesting question. There's no book about it; there are lots of books about how to drive a race car perhaps, but no books about how to do a Formula 1 team.



Related Pictures

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USF1 is determined to be the next addition to the F1 grid, possibly as early as 2010
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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Tim - Unregistered

February 25, 2009 1:07 PM

I watched the interviews and when he said most of the technology he was mainly referring to the tools used to design the cars, (Simulation software, CNC packages, etc etc.) Regardless we live in a global economy now, you could base an F1 team in Siberia and still get by. In regards to whether or not American drivers can cut it, I have no doubts that they will be able to find qualified drivers but honestly Danica shouldn't be anywhere close to the top of the list, she finished what 7th in the IRL last year? I'd put money on Marco Andretti. As much as I love Brits and Top Gear and the lot, sometimes I get pretty sick of the disparaging comments about how dumb and backwards us Americans are.

Banditfan

February 25, 2009 3:53 AM

Charles, I agree, the US is more than capable of constructing a competitive F1 car. What I object to is someone claiming that the US practically invented the modern F1 car. There's no doubt some of the technologies in an F1 car originated in the US but lots of them didn't. Toyota and Honda have both discovered how hard it is to blend technologies into a winning car. I wish USF1 best wishes, I hope they can ad some spice to the current state of affairs. BTW, I like your list but I'm not sure I would include Microsoft in it myself :)



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