USF1 sporting director Peter Windsor has revealed that the Charlotte-based team will test its car for the very first time at the Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama early next month.

The decision means that the squad will miss the first pre-season test in Spain, although Windsor added that outfit will switch to Europe later on ahead of the opening race of the season in Bahrain on March 14.

"The first thing that needs to be said is that if this was 2011 and we were an existing team we would be at the first test. But because we are a new team and started from nothing, the first time we will run the car will be in the United States at the Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama," Windsor explained to the official F1 website.

"This is the circuit that was nominated by the FIA for us. We've got this dispensation from the FIA, which is fantastic, because we are not based in Europe. We are the only team that has a test circuit outside Europe, so it is totally logic for us to run the car for the first time in the US at the beginning of February. We are allowed three sessions in the US. Then we will ship it to Spain to do some testing there before we fly out to Bahrain."

USF1 will be one of four new teams in the sport this year, along with Virgin Racing (formerly Manor Grand Prix), Lotus F1 Racing and Campos Meta 1, however unlike those teams the squad has yet to sign a driver for 2010.

Indeed while former Renault F1 test driver Jose Maria Lopez and ex-Honda and Super Aguri man, James Rossiter have both been linked to the squad nothing has been confirmed as yet.

"We are very close to announcing our drivers," Windsor added. "We've been talking to some great racing drivers over the last couple of months, and it is very difficult to choose between the good drivers that are around. I think there are still a lot on offer and the difficult thing will be to choose only two out of the ten that are available.

"It's a difficult job and I hate having to do that. We have not signed any deals yet in terms of the contracts, but we are pretty near to announcing."

As for the year ahead in general, Windsor thinks F1 2010 will be a vintage year: "My marketing and media department here keeps telling me that I need to stop being a journalist and getting misquoted. But of course I am excited as everybody else is about the prospect of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa at Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button at McLaren, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull and Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.

"It is absolutely fantastic for F1 to have such a brilliant season ahead. Who could possibly predict what's going to happen with these extraordinary line-ups?

"But there is more to it than that. F1 has had a really difficult time over the last 18 months and there has been a lot of bad press. But guess what - we have a fantastic championship ahead of us! F1 has re-grouped and, with the resources restriction agreement, has done a very good job of approaching the recession in a logical way.

"Look at golf now. The PGA tour is absolutely petrified at what's going to happen after Tiger Woods announced he is to take an indefinite leave from the tour. You can also look at tennis after Andre Agassi admitted he took drugs. So it's not only F1 that has dramas.

"F1 can actually feel pretty good about itself for the first time in a while because we've got a sense of direction, whilst at the same time other sports are showing that they are not so perfect. We've already put all the dramas behind us and everything's set for a brilliant 2010. And for us to be part of that - even though it's a small part for the moment, although we plan to grow - is a huge privilege and I will enjoy every minute of it."


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