F1 » 07 September 2009
Windsor confirms US F1 'on track' for early 2010 debut
Despite continuing speculation to the contrary, the latest American entrant determined to succeed in Formula One is well on course to achieve its first ambition, according to one of its co-founders.
While naysayers insist that some - or none - of the three new teams 'promoted' to the F1 ranks for 2010 will actually be on the grid when the season kicks off in Bahrain, Team US F1's Peter Windsor claims that his operation has cleared the latest major hurdle in its path and has its sights firmly set on getting its first car on display, ahead of the planned January track debut.
While not expected - nor able - to test the machine until the New Year, Windsor told the official F1 website that the design and build process is continuing as planned, with a full-on trip to the Windshear wind tunnel near its Carolina base expected in the next few weeks.
"All the politics that happened this year have delayed us in some respects, but not in the critical respect of the car," Windsor, who formed Team US F1 with former F1 and CART designer Ken Anderson, "We've been working on the design and the construction of the car since the start of the year, so that hasn't been delayed at all. We are right on schedule for that.
"As Ken said a couple of weeks ago, we should soon have what Americans call a 'roller' - not a complete car, but the chassis, with the suspension and gearbox in place - ready to do some full-scale aero tests. Then we are ready for the final bodywork around October and, like with everybody else, our car will be ready for the first test in January. There is no other deadline we have to meet."
Windsor admitted that finally being able to confirm YouTube founder Chad Hurley as the team's first major investor had heralded a significant step forward in the programme, although there is some catching up to do in other areas, with drivers and other backers still to be confirmed.
"If you are a new team and you don't have in place existing cars, drivers, factories and everything else, it is very hard," he admitted, "When you are a start-up operation, it is very important - from a marketing point of view - to get all the hardware in place as quickly as possible. Due to all the politics, we've slipped a bit on time and now we are making up for that and working very hard on the marketing side of the company.
"The first phase of that was the announcement of our involvement with Chad Hurley. From there, we will be 'all hands on deck' and marketing the team as what we are: an American team with a franchise in F1 on a global platform in the best sport in the world."
Despite Hurley coming on board to 'provide visionary guidance and corporate strategy expertise', and not necessarily bring YouTube branding to the programme - the video-sharing site having been sold to Google for $1.65bn in 2006 - Windsor is confident that the partnership will be a solid building block for Team US F1.
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