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'Ahead of schedule' USF1 dismiss doubts

Despite F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone having described the team as being 'a doubt' for the 2010 F1 campaign [see separate story – click here] and FIA President Max Mosley alluding to 'all sorts of rumours about them', the team principal of newcomers USF1 has insisted that to the contrary, the North Carolina-based outfit is 'ahead of schedule and excited about going racing'.

There has been much scepticism and cynicism within the grand prix paddock regarding just how a team with its headquarters the other side of the Atlantic will logistically manage to compete against twelve rivals all based in Europe, as well as accusations that the Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor-spearheaded operation is in fact little more than an elaborate publicity stunt.

Not only is USF1 deadly serious, urges former Ligier, Onyx and IndyCar designer Anderson, however – but the first car is already well on its way to completion and scheduled to roll out in November before embarking upon a fully-fledged pre-season testing programme come January.

“It has been quite a ride since we started the team last year,” he acknowledged in an official team Q&A, “and it has become far more intense since the signing of the Concorde Agreement. Our world headquarters is now complete and fully functional, and the 2010 race car is in the construction phase.

“Thanks to our in-house design and engineering staff and the aid of our technical partners, for the last ten-to-twelve months the car has gone through thousands of iterations in a virtual environment. With this virtual design, we can test and be sure that it's right from structural, design and engineering standpoints, so we don't have to make a part, test it, break it and start again. Instead, we've taken out a lot of the guesswork and can get close to a race-ready piece right off of the machines, which is happening now.

“Our timing is according to plan, with an early November 'roller' and a finished car in time for January 2010 testing. We're 'fully-equipped'. Building a team and a world-class manufacturing facility are a work in progress, but we're ahead of schedule and excited about going racing next year.”

Aiding that process, Anderson admitted, has been the acquisition of a number of key staff members from existing F1 teams who have elected to jump ship to the Charlotte-based concern – housed in the old Joe Gibbs Racing factory in the heart of NASCAR country – for its debut season at the highest level, whilst the esteemed engineer argued that far from putting USF1 at a disadvantage in relation to its competitors, the American base would in fact make the running of the team considerably cheaper than it would otherwise be.

“America is known as a 'melting pot',” he explained, “and our team is a reflection of just that. Americans, Europeans, New Zealanders, Welshmen and more are responsible for the race car, including many who have high-level experience in the current F1 environment. Many of our new hires we connected with back in June and July, and they will be joining the team formally at the end of the month. We are very grateful to the current F1 teams for releasing some of our 'newest' team members early – that has been a huge help as we continue to prepare for the 2010 season.

“The major cost savings will be that the engineering and production of the cars will be done in the United States. Our technical partners located within a 30-mile radius of our shop contribute to these savings, as there are some departments we don't have to have in-house, such as a wind tunnel, shaker rig, K&C machine, additional CFD support and a centre of gravity machine. What most people see – the transporters, motor coaches and the 'lifestyle' side of F1 – are a much smaller part of the overall budget and will be located at our European facility, which we'll tell you about soon.”

Moreover, backing has been secured from YouTube co-founder and CEO Chad Hurley, and powerplants from Cosworth – in common with fellow new arrivals Manor, Campos and Lotus – but Anderson and Windsor's dream of employing an all-American driver line-up looks to be fading, with the necessity to hold a super-licence complicating the issue somewhat and seemingly promoting experienced hands such as Alex Wurz, Pedro de la Rosa, Jacques Villeneuve, Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Bourdais to the front of the queue, at least to see the team through its initial developmental stage as it endeavours to find its F1 feet. Of the home-grown stars still possible, it is understood that Atlantic Championship contenders Jonathan Summerton and John Edwards and 2009 Indy Lights Champion J.R. Hildebrand all remain in the frame.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ken Anderson (USA) Team USF1, British F1, Silverstone, 19th-21st, June, 2009
25.05.2017 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13
25.05.2017 - Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
25.05.2017 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17
25.05.2017 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17
25.05.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
25.05.2017 - Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
25.05.2017 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.05.2017 - Mattia Binotto (ITA) Chief Technical Officer, Scuderia Ferrari and Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
24.05.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
24.05.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Sahara Force India F1 VJM010, detail
24.05.2017 - Mercedes AMG F1 W08, detail
24.05.2017 - Mercedes AMG F1 W08, detail

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Barry - Unregistered

October 08, 2009 6:05 PM

Wouldn't get excited about Wales not being described as part of Europe. Ken Anderson has a few more critical matters on his mind than the geographical location of the heritage of his staff. Lets get behind this brave effort and support USF1. They just might surprise a few folks in a couple of seasons or so.. It isn't easy, ask BMW. Three seasons 1 win and one pole and likely well in excess of $1Billlion later..

MillingMachines - Unregistered

October 08, 2009 9:38 PM

@ Mark Just so any Americans on here are aware, a modern F1 car is made (primarily) from Carbon fibre. I do hope they were also shipping in Autoclaves as well! Then again they might be making the car out of tube sections ala NASCAR! That would be a novel approach! :) :) :)

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