The manager of José María López has hit out at USF1 co-founders Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor for the fiasco into which the all-American outfit has descended – for 'deceiving' the FIA, FOTA and FOM, breaking the binding Concorde Agreement and leaving the young Argentine ace high-and-dry on the eve of the 2010 F1 World Championship campaign.
López was allegedly informed last month of the unlikelihood of USF1 making the starting grid in time for the Bahrain Grand Prix
curtain-raiser at Sakhir – if indeed it could make the season at all. Since then, he and his manager Felipe McGough have been trying feverishly to secure either a race or testing role with fellow newcomer Campos Meta 1 – now re-baptised Hispania Racing [see separate story – click here
] – or else Serbian hopeful Stefan GP.
The former Renault
F1 test driver reportedly paid $830,000 to guarantee his seat at the beleaguered North Carolina-based concern, which McGough is now endeavouring to reclaim from USF1 having broken off López's contract with the team.
That money could prove pivotal to the 26-year-old's chances of grabbing the reserve role at Hispania Racing, which looks likely to confirm GP2 Series race-winner Karun Chandhok alongside the already-signed Bruno Senna for F1 2010, but where the third driver – and thereby potentially also Friday driver – position remains open and with whose new owner José Ramón Carabante, López and his advisors have a 'good relationship'.
“We met with Ken Anderson, Peter Windsor, the representatives of [YouTube
co-founder and primary USF1 investor] Chad Hurley and the team's lawyers,” McGough told news channel Ultima Vuelta
. “It was a really complex situation, because we had to get them to release us from the agreement taking into account [that] the team will not be present in Bahrain and [that] it will be very difficult for them to [compete] throughout the season due to the project's delays.”
In a separate interview with Argentine radio station Cadena 3 Cordoba
, McGough was rather less complimentary about the role played by Windsor and Anderson in his driver's current predicament.
“Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor will travel to Argentina in the coming days to give us an explanation about everything that has happened, since the sole responsibility is theirs',” he railed. “The main culprit is Ken Anderson. He deceived the FIA, FOTA (Formula One Teams' Association), FOM (Formula One Management – Bernie Ecclestone's commercial rights company) and broke the Concorde Agreement.
“We have already told [Carabante] that López is free, they are aware of everything, and now we are waiting to see what is decided in Europe. We are looking at anything that allows José María to stay in Formula 1, even as the reserve driver.”