Former Renault test driver Jose Maria Lopez could be set for move into F1 for the 2010 season after revealing that he has a conditional offer on the table from the new USF1 team.
The Argentine driver, who has spent recent seasons competing in touring cars and GT racing, visited the USF1 headquarters in Charlotte earlier this week to meet with team bosses Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor and has now suggested that a deal could soon be concluded for next season.
“Up until now, we have had discussions over the phone but as things progressed, we went to visit the team personally and to speak to Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor,” the former GP2 driver revealed in a statement on his personal website. “We have verbally agreed a deal which we will complete next week.
“It is a new team which is starting from zero, and that is different to my experience with Renault where there was a structure with years of experience in F1. However, the commitment and professionalism of the USF1 programme has impressed me. We have seen the windtunnel which will be used to develop the car that I hope to race in 2010.”
Windsor himself admitted he was keen to tie down a deal for the Argentine driver and said he was someone who could bring good experience to the team.
“Until we sign a contract, we can't give too many details about negotiations,” he said. “What I can say is that I have a lot of respect for Jose Maria as both a driver and a person.
“After three years in Argentina, he is very motivated and he would be a great driver for our team because he will bring knowledge and experience of running tests in an F1 car. His motivation is also higher because he hasn't yet had the chance to race and show his ability.
“I would be very happy if he was to race with us next year and he isn't just one more driver on a list. He is a driver we are interested in and we would like him to be with us. Things can change quickly in motorsport so I can't say anything else, but we would like to sign a contract as quickly as possible.”