It was announced today that a new US-based team is being formed to compete in Formula One. The new group, called USF1, is to be based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a European base in Spain. This new group is to be headed by former F1 team manager Peter Windsor and engineer Ken Anderson. Interestingly, there isn't much more detail to the announcement other than this.

So those are the details as we now know them...the question is, does anyone believe that they can pull it off? It seems hard to believe, in the current economic climate, that someone could raise the $60-$200 million that would be needed to field a formula one team from scratch. However, Anderson and Windsor, in today's press conference claim to have the funding in place already...though no specifics were given. One big piece of the puzzle that they do have is a full scale wind tunnel, which will certainly help.

Of course the history of American teams in Formula One is rather hit and miss. The Scarab effort kicked it off in the late ’50s, followed by the star-crossed Scirocco effort in the early ’60s and then Gurney and the AAR effort. Gurney managed a famous win at Spa, but sadly the potential was never fully realized. The ’70s proved a golden age for US F1 efforts, if you can call it that, with teams being fielded by the likes of Penske, Vels-Parnelli and Shadow. But again none were ever really able to capitalize on their promise. So, in light of the historical record, will we being seeing a USF1 car on the grid in 2010? And if so, how long before it becomes relegated to "historic" racing?
All the best,
Casey Annis

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USF1's problem will not be designing, building and fielding a competitive F-1 car. The problem is going to be fielding drivers that will draw an audience in the US. With the exception of NASCAR the racing scene has refused to promote US drivers. There just are no drivers with any type of fan appeal in open wheel or for that matter any automotive racing with the exception of NASCASR.

There was a time when Dan Gurney, Mark Donohue, Parnelli Jones, Phil Hill, A. J. Foyt, Jim Hall and other front line US road race drivers were house hold names. Name one driver from any series other then NASCAR with any kind of broad fan base? OK OK Danica Patrick but she proves the point. Danica may have kept IRL alive.

USF1 will have to not only design and build a car, put together a support team and the other thousands of smaller tasks needed to hit the grid in 2010 they will need to find three or four drivers. Build these drivers into house hold names so that a few sport net site readers Monday morning are going to look for how USF1 and their drivers finished.

My vote would be for USF1 to pick those two young kids who did so well in this year English FF runoffs and get them under contract. Then get a good team of Hollywood PR flacks to work. By this time next year they could be every ones favorite athletes.

With a team of popular US drivers USF1 would command a lot of screen and print space.
In this country that would be a success.
Kind regards.
Dennis Gray
Well hell the phone rang and I missed the edit time on my reply. Sorry. Dennis

I suppose they'd have to be stolen from Nascar, but AJ Almindinger and Montoya might be good place to start. Danica's a black widow and would be a big mistake. Robbie Gordon might be frustrated enough to go back to open wheel, then there is always Naomi Judd's hubby, who has spent some time in the big tin top league.

I hope things will get better between Bernie E. and Tony G. so we can get F1 back in North America!

I do agree, the big task indeed will be to familiarize the 'households' of America with a marketable name to take on the rest of the world! Danica's out, F1 is WAY to cut throat,.. Dennis.. I think JM, Robbie G and Dario are too long in the tooth to do any good. Dinger seems to be a viable entity, Scott Speed? well.... dunno.. um.. no not Milka!

I think we need to look to the yougsters in the open wheel ranks and go-karts (ala Hamilton?) to find some real talent and get behind them image wise to market them. I know.. the devil in the details... We'll be looking!

Who were those two kids who beat the Europeans last year in the ?? run offs in England. I want to say formula ford but it may have been Formula who knows. Now would seem the time to pick three or four young guns and get them running on the tracks that F-1 runs on. Also from what I have read the US drivers just are not prepared for the cutthroat European driving unless they have been exposed.
The real problem is making these "kids" into heroes. Unless USF1 figures out how to instill a high degree of interest in the drivers similar to the interest in sport heroes like TO or Tiger the program will die for a lack of interest.
Dan Gurney was a write in candidate for president. Laugh if you want but he got thousands of write in votes. Sure it started as a joke but he was so popular with the racing public and general public that it caught on.
My point is USF1 is great. Without a driver from the US that is known outside the closed fraternity of auto racing they just will not play.
Look at what NASCAR has done with its drivers.
If Peter Windsor is going to take such an active role in the USF1 team, who will fill the void for the practice, qualifying and pre grid commentaries during the F1 events?
Point taken about the US track record of fielding F1 teams, nonetheless this era is drastically different from a sponsorship and marketing point of view. I may go on a limb here, but I don't think it will be difficult for them to field $100M or so a year. There are quite a few US brands that are global enough, which "marketed" throughout the world on a US-based car, could be seen as a positive investment, even in this climate...

From a need-to-win standpoint, even though drivers do the winning, it is cars (and teams) that really enable these wins. Of course there can always be a "Senna in a Toleman" once in a while that shows up, but nowadays, a car thoroughly designed with a powerful and reliable powerplant will generate good results, with an ok to good driver. If that driver has charisma and brand appeal, a definite plus...

I simply see this USF1 as an exciting rebirth of US Formula 1...and look forward to 2010 (but especially 2014). 1st goal will be to beat bottom 2...then team and leaders will need to be patient enough and attentive to what can be done better and change it over the following 3 years!...then if podiums don't materialize...well...I do think that Windsor and Anderson have a good business-technical synergy to be successful...

I can't wait...1 year is very short and TIME WILL FLY!!!

Great post and replies!!
MotorSports Etc.



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