USF1 team principal Peter Windsor has revealed that the new F1 outfit has already been approached by a number of pay drivers looking to secure a drive for the 2010 season – and stated that current IndyCar racer Danica Patrick would be 'too big' for the American outfit.
With the new version of the Concorde Agreement governing F1 having now been signed, preparations for the team's entry into the sport are now continuing apace at the Charlotte base, where work will begin on manufacturing the first USF1 car 'in the next couple of months'.
Having always stated that American drivers are the target for the programme, a number of high-profile names have been linked to a drive – including Patrick, former F1 racer Scott Speed and NASCAR ace Kyle Busch.
While the trio have played down talk of a move, Patrick in particular is one name that refuses to go away with her current deal with Andretti Green Racing ending at the conclusion of the 2009 season.
However, Windsor said that he felt Patrick was more likely to turn to NASCAR as opposed to move over to F1 where expectations would be high.
"A lot of people are saying to us, 'Are you interested in Danica? and my reply is in some respects, Danica is too big for us now," he told Sports Illustrated
. "She'll probably go to NASCAR and she'll probably do very well there and she'll probably make a fortune. For her to do Formula One, it's a huge commitment at this stage of her career and her expectation level would be very high.
"We're not going to be fighting for the World Championship in year one. Reliability is going to be very important for us and driveability and just getting the car designed and built and a while new group working together as a team."
Windsor added that he found it 'unbelievable' that Patrick hasn't been offered the chance to test an F1 car on the back of her performances in the USA.
"She's gone to Europe, she did reasonably well in Formula Ford," he said. "She made the commitment, then went back to America and she's done very well in IndyCar. You could argue she's probably the best placed American in he premier single-seater American championship right now, give or take a Graham Rahal or two. Yet not one F1 team the last three years has bothered to give her even a test. I find that unbelievable."