Just days after fellow F1 2010 newcomer Campos admitted that it was feeling the financial strain of trying to be ready in time to make its top flight debut next season, it has been speculated that the participation of North Carolina-based outfit USF1 is also far from certain.
Having signed up to compete on the understanding that FIA President Max Mosley's contentious £40 million budget cap would be in-place next year, Spanish operation Campos has confessed that the abolition of the cost-cutting initiative at the manufacturers' behest has removed the level playing field, left the team facing an unequal fight against rivals spending upwards of £100 million and 'thrown our plan into disarray' [see separate story – click here
]. Now, though, it appears it may not just be Campos that is struggling.
Whilst it is understood that of the present quartet of 2010 F1 graduates – USF1, Campos, Manor and Lotus – it is the American effort whose preparations are the most advanced, with the first car being readied to be tested by November, the sport's commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone has expressed a degree of scepticism about whether or not the Charlotte-based concern will ultimately take up its place on the starting grid.
“I think one or two might not turn up,” the 78-year-old British billionaire told the BBC
. “That's what I'm being told; possibly USF1 are a doubt.”