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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2010 F1 season

Originally, this post was going to be about the upcoming F1 season and how amazing the field is. There is just so much talent this year. Two champions driving for Mclaren. Alonso and Massa in the Ferrari pit boxes. Vettel is hungry for the championship after such an amazing performance last year. And if that wasn't enough, the legendary Michael Schumacher is back and wants another trophy for his mantle.

Any of these could be a story in itself but the story of USF1 has me pretty fired up.

This year is going to be a return to the golden years it seemed. In addition to all the drivers fighting for wins with the new scoring system, historic names like Lotus and Cosworth are back on the grid. Cosworth has returned as an engine supplier and Lotus is one of four new teams. The other three are Virgin, Campos, and USF1.

USF1 seemed to be the guiding light for Formula 1 to finally make some headway into the American market. They had originally said they would field American drivers and groom up and coming young drivers. Instead, they have ended up with a driver that is bringing a reported $8million of sponsorship money with him and is an Argentine.

Mind you, I'm all for diversity. F1 is an international sport and that's one of the main reasons I love it. However, the US is lacking in this amazing sport and I can't stand NASCAR. The hopes of American F1 fans rested with USF1. Choosing a foreign driver isn't the worst thing. The team is still based in Charlotte after all. The knockout blow has just come recently. Original reports suggested that USF1 was having some sponsorship issues and would like to skip the first four races of the 2010 season. Now, they're trying to opt out of the whole season.

This failure is much more evident when three other teams have cars testing right beside the established teams. It's a crushing blow and seems to be showing the world that America can only do open wheel racing on its own terms (and not very well considering IRL/Champ history). Hopefully, they can come out with guns blazing next season.

Until then, seeing British racing green and yellow lined up will give me goosebumps.

Update (3/2/10): It has been reported that USF1 has shut down operations completely. We'll keep you posted.

Update (3/3/10): Reports are still sketchy but here's what we know:
  • Developmental work on the USF1 car has been incredibly slow.
  • Peter Windsor and Chad Hurley (Co-Founder of Youtube) have both walked way from the team.
  • Talks regarding a merger with Campos or Stefan have failed.
  • USF1 employees have been told they are taking a two week break but most likely will not be returning.

1 comment:

  1. USF1 would have been much better off going through with the merger with Stefan F1. They were a good match, Stefan with the Toyota that is likely faster than any of the other new entries and USF1 with the entry. Now Stefan might take their spot and leave USF1 with nothing. I don't think it was wise to turn it down, now they have to ask to miss the entire season to prepare (what the hell where they doing all last season?) and they just come off looking like a fly by night operation.

    The IRL is in a bit of unstable waters as well, though I think heading in an OK direction with a common car between Indy Lights and IRL to help with cost. The IRL look bad is when a guy like Graham Rahal can't even get a ride. They really don't help develop American open wheel road course talent for F1. The only reasonable path is maybe Star Mazda/Formula Atlantic, then off to Europe to go through the ranks that don't exist here.

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