Rumours are rife that high-profile USF1 partner YouTube
may be poised to swap its allegiance as the speculation surrounding the American team deepens.
Little has been heard from the Charlotte-based operation since it confirmed that Argentine touring car driver Jose Maria Lopez would be its first signing, and whispers insist that it is unlikely to make the grid in Bahrain next month, let alone see out the entire 2010 season. Further credence has been given to the rumour with reports that the team's head of business development, Brian Bonner, has quit his role and could be followed out of the door by YouTube
founder and CEO Chad Hurley.
While Bonner has accepted a new post with B4 Marketing, YallaF1
suggests that Hurley has begun to investigate the possibility of swapping his support to either the equally troubled Campos Meta team or ambitious benchwarmer Stefan GP, which is angling after a place on the grid whether or not the other newcomers make it to Bahrain [see story here
]. USF1's Charlotte base has also been put up for sale by its leaseholder, although that is not thought to be any reflection on the security of its tenants, which also include NASCAR teams Robby Gordon Racing and BAM Racing.
Campos, meanwhile, is hoping to be able to name the white knight that is believed to have secured its immediate future, with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport
quoting an insider who expects to hear good news 'within 24 hours'.
The possibility of that investor being Hurley appears to have gathered momentum as rapidly as suggestions that A1GP Tony Teixeira would become involved have cooled. Meanwhile, internet rumours that both Volkswagen and former Midland/Spyker/Force India head man Colin Kolles could be on their way to the Spanish team have been denied by those involved. Former BAR and Red Bull
tech chief Geoff Willis has yet to play down suggestions that he is play a part in either Campos Meta or Dallara's future F1 plans after being spotted at last week's Jerez test. Campos is reported to have had trouble meeting payment deadlines with both its Italian chassis partner and engine supplier Cosworth.
Despite the rumours, however, former Midland and Spyker test driver and reigning Superleague Formula Champion Adrian Valles continues to be tipped to partner Lopez at USF1 [see separate story – click here
], and the Argentine says he would welcome the Spaniard alongside him to complete what would be an all-rookie pairing at the North Carolina concern.
“For many reasons, I would love to have Adrian as my team-mate,” the 26-year-old told Spanish daily sports newspaper Marca
. “Firstly, he is a young guy who is talented and experienced; secondly, because I know him from our time together on the Renault
driver development programme. Adrian has done well in all the categories he has competed in, proving he is a talented driver.
“I think, more than experience, it is important to have the right attitude and the desire to develop and help the team. Logically, it is very useful for an inexperienced team in F1 to have an experienced driver, but so too is it [useful] to have young drivers who are willing to give everything.”
Stefan GP, meanwhile, waits in the wings, hoping to get the call to replace either of the ailing newcomers, and this week called for the F1 entry to be expanded to 14 teams to allow it to take its place on the grid regardless of developments at Campos Meta and USF1.