USF1 may now have been formally launched – with an aimed-for race debut of 2010 – but erstwhile Minardi team owner Paul Stoddart has expressed his doubts that the team will ever make the starting grid in the top flight.
The new outfit will be jointly run by ex-Ligier and Onyx technical director Ken Anderson and one-time Williams and Ferrari team manager Peter Windsor, and will be located predominantly in the heart of NASCAR country, in Charlotte, North Carolina, with an additional European testing base, most likely in Spain.
Windsor has explained that he believes the time is now right for a Formula 1 entry because of
rather than despite the current global credit crunch [see separate story – click here
], but Stoddart – who two years ago took the Minardi name to the States to run Minardi Team USA in Champ Cars, with considerable success – questions the Englishman's logic.
“I believe we are a year or two away from getting the costs [in F1] completely under control,” the plain-speaking Aussie told international news agency Reuters
, “and I don't believe that new teams will come from the US – I think they will come from within Europe.
“I personally can't see how they are going to pull a major sponsor or investor out of the US when there's no race [there].
“Very few Americans care terribly much about Formula 1...and I certainly found it harder to get money over here than in Europe.”