Peter Windsor has acknowledged that whilst 2010 newcomer USF1 remains keen to field an all-American line-up for its maiden season in the top flight next year, it is similarly considering current Brawn GP reserve driver Alex Wurz - aware that 'there is maybe an argument for running an experienced driver in one car'.

All manner of names have been linked with the nascent North Carolina-based operation, led by respected former Williams and Ferrari team manager Windsor and erstwhile Ligier, Onyx and IndyCar designer Ken Anderson - with home-grown heroes like Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, AJ Allmendinger, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Jonathan Summerton amongst others all understood to be in the melting pot.

The general wisdom has been that the ideal line-up would be composed of a rising American young gun and older, more experienced hand, which is just where Wurz - with 69 grand prix starts under his belt for front-running outfits Williams, Benetton and McLaren and an enviable reputation for testing and development - comes into the equation.

The 35-year-old officially retired from F1 at the end of 2007, and has since gone on to race with considerable success in sportscars, achieving his second triumph from three starts in the iconic, round-the-clock Le Mans 24 Hours endurance classic with Peugeot earlier this year. The Austrian was also the driving force behind Team Superfund, which tried and failed to gain a 2010 entry.

"We have spoken to Alex," Windsor confirmed in an interview with BBC Sport. "Any new team coming into Formula 1 needs to look at drivers with experience. Alex Wurz could perhaps be able to operate at our rate of learning. Alex has got a great brain, he is a good guy and a good friend.

"We have said several times that we want to run Americans, but our first year in F1 will be critical in a number of ways, especially in this compressed time zone. We don't have a lot of time to do everything now because of all the turbulence and politics we have had this season, so there is maybe an argument for running an experienced driver in one car."

Another driver to have pitched his name into the frame for one of the two available USF1 berths is former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, who has been a regular figure in the grand prix paddock of late, and is present in Budapest this weekend.

The 1997 title-winner - who has not won a race since then, and left the sport with his tail between his legs mid-2006, somewhat ignominiously parting company with BMW-Sauber just before the Hungarian Grand Prix following a run of poor results and rather too many incidents for his employer's liking - has affirmed that he is indeed 'crazy enough' to be plotting a return more than three years on, and that much as he grew up watching his father race at the highest level, he would like his own sons to now have the same possibility.

"The passion, the desire, the hunger are all there," the French-Canadian, son of the late, legendary Ferrari idol Gilles Villeneuve, is quoted as having said by AFP. "I have spent two years on holiday doing motocross and karting. If I am mad enough to do that, I am mad enough to take on Eau Rouge at full speed. I want my sons to see me at the wheel and not only in a photograph."

At close to 40, were he to make a comeback Villeneuve would be one of - if not the - oldest drivers on the starting grid, but it is clear that in his own mind, age shall not weary him. Refreshed after his three-year hiatus and revved up to return with the regulations now more to his liking, the eleven-time grand prix-winner confirmed that he is currently weighing up his options - even if he denied earlier rumours that involved discussions with USF1 have already taken place.

"There comes a time when you feel suffocated," he explained. "[When] we do the same thing for years and years, we don't even notice it, [yet] there's something missing. That can take off a tenth or two. There was a negative effect.

"There are possibilities [now]. I am going to do my best [for 2010]. It would preferably be in an existing team, but perhaps there may be more of a chance in a new team. There has been no contact [with USF1], but it's logical that people think this way. I am Canadian, it's close to the USA etc."

Windsor, however, has poured cold water on the Villeneuve speculation - suggesting that the Charlotte-based concern would not be capable of immediately matching the expectations of such a high-profile global star.

"Jacques is a former world champion and he comes in with that persona and that largesse," the Englishman contended. "It could be that for a team that needs to grow at its own organic rate, Jacques would come in with his own rate of expectation and they might not match.

"The rate at which you learn and grow really affects the way that team will perform over the next decade. If you look at BAR-Supertec, as they were when they started [in 1999], in the days of Jacques Villeneuve, you could argue that the team was running before they could walk. I think that's one of the reasons they didn't go on to achieve the success that they maybe should have with their resources.

"We want to walk then canter and then sprint, and we want to do all those things in the right order. Anybody who has got a lot of F1 mileage, who is still hungry and is a good guy is the sort of person we would be looking at for one of our two cars."



Loading Comments...