Sir Jackie Stewart has argued that it makes 'no sense at all' to have an American Formula 1 team without also an American Grand Prix – insisting that such a situation 'cannot be allowed to continue'.
The Scot was speaking after it was revealed that Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson's North Carolina-based operation has become the second hopeful – after Campos Meta 1 – to submit an application for entry into the 2010 world championship in the top flight's new 'low-cost', budget-capped era under the name Team USF1, with the sport's commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone stating that: “We'll do whatever we can to make it happen.”
In the light of considerable scepticism about the viability of a squad which has its headquarters in the midst of 'NASCAR country' and the other side of the Pond to every other team, however, Stewart has admitted that he has serious doubts about the chances of USF1 even making it onto the starting grid in the absence of an annual spot on the calendar for the US Grand Prix.
“To have an American grand prix team without a grand prix in its own country, I'm sorry, that does not make commercial sense, or even common sense,” asserted the triple world champion in an interview with the New York Times
. “I think we have to have an American Grand Prix.
“For this to be the largest commercial and intensely-marketed nation in the world not to have a grand prix, with all the major carmakers in the world, the tyre maker in Bridgestone, the fuel and oil producers – for them not to have a grand prix for me is nonsensical. It cannot be allowed to continue.”
The US Grand Prix fell off the schedule prior to last year's race there after Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George and Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive Ecclestone proved unable to come to a financial agreement for the event to continue to be held around the celebrated mid-west circuit. The grand prix has also previously been held at Phoenix, Watkins Glen, Las Vegas, Dallas, Long Beach and Detroit, before moving to Indy at the turn of the millennium.