Introduction It was always the wish of former FIA president Max Mosley to get some fresh blood in Formula One, he predicted that the manufacturer teams would leave Formula One as a result of the economic recession, and unfortunately he was right.
It was always the wish of former FIA president Max Mosley to get some fresh blood in Formula One, he predicted that the manufacturer teams would leave Formula One as a result of the economic recession, and unfortunately he was right. Honda, Toyota and BMW have turned their back to Formula One, only car manufacturers Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari will be present at the Grand Prix circuits in 2010. However, Renault sold out to investor Genii and is therefore not a real manufacturer team anymore.
Peter Sauber managed to save the BMW team and they will be competing under the BMW-Sauber name. Without the new teams there would only be nine teams or 18 cars at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 14th. It could have been worse, without the rescue of Renault and Sauber, only seven teams with 14 cars would compete in 2010. It seems I owe Mr. Mosley an apology for not sharing his skeptic, but correct view on the manufacturer teams as he expressed earlier in 2009.
If we go back to 1989 and 1990, we will find a record number of teams in Formula One, twenty teams raced during those two seasons. A few names from those days: Lola, Eurobrun, March, Osella, Dallara, Minardi, Onyx, AGS and Coloni. With so many teams, the FIA was even forced to organize pre-qualifications with four drivers eliminated after pre-qualifying, and after the normal qualification another four drivers were eliminated. Like it is in the current format, only 26 cars were allowed on the start grid in those days. Engine builder Cosworth supplied 10 out of those 20 teams in 1990, in 2010 Cosworth will supply five teams: Williams and the four new teams.
In 2009 the FIA admitted the four new teams: Lotus F1, Virgin Racing, US F1 Team and Campos Meta. Let's now take a closer look at these new teams and the people who are behind each of them. In this third of the four articles, we will examine US F1 Team.
* Drivers not yet confirmed
It has always been the dream of founders Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor to run a completely American Formula One team, with a car built in the US, taking advantage of much of the hidden US technology already present in the Formula One pit lane and the team wants to introduce a whole new raft of great companies, talented people, and cutting edge technology, and aims to enter the world of Formula One with the best that America can produce. Many Americans have raced in Formula One: Phil Hill won the Championship In 1961 in a Ferrari, and Mario Andretti in 1978 in a Lotus.
The team's headquarters is located in the motorsport capital of the US, Charlotte, N.C. However, the team's testing, race car development and logistics headquarters is based in MotorLand Aragon, a motorsport complex located in the northern part of Spain, near the town of Alcaniz. MotorLand Aragon is known worldwide for its Hermann Tilke-designed F1/MotoGP road course, the only one of its kind in Europe. The complex houses a sports area, a technological area and a leisure & culture area.
Team principal Ken Anderson has 30 years of experience in motorsport, over the years he designed and constructed many Indy 500 and IndyCar Series winning cars, was the technical director of the Ligier and Onyx Formula One teams, and also the technical director responsible for the design and construction of the Windshear Wind Tunnel, a 'rolling road' wind tunnel built in Concord, N.C. Anderson's organizational approach is to create a small, streamlined operation, with the ability to design, engineer, construct, produce and test a competitive Formula One car.
Peter Windsor, originally a reporter and journalist, has 35 years of experience in Formula One. He was consultant of Nigel Mansell and Carlos Reutemann, sports editor of the UK Autocar magazine, he worked for Williams F1, and is currently Grand Prix Editor of the F1 Racing magazine, for which he writes race reports and feature articles, and is director of Fifty-Four Nine, a driver coaching company for F1, GP2 and F3 stars. Windsor will be responsible for team management, driver selection and development. If his voice sounds familiar to you, he also worked for FOM and was the one who did the interviews during the post-race and qualification press conferences that were aired live.
Australian John Anderson is a friend of Ken Anderson, and came to the US in the 1980s. He has 30 years of experience, in open wheel racing he worked with Gerry Forsyth, Barry Green, Dan Gurney, Rick Galles, AJ Foyt Jr and Kenny Bernstein. He will be leaving Gil Ferran's American Le Mans Acura team, where he had a similar position as race manager.
According to John Anderson his role is "all about getting the right group of guys who can work, live and play together, and also understanding where everyone's strengths and weaknesses are. Ken and Peter have put together a strong group, and I can only help to strengthen the bonds and be a part of America's resurgence in the top motorsport in the world." He will be co-ordinating the US F1 team operations in Charlotte and Europe, and will also be responsible for testing. He has experience working as a mechanic, team manager and race strategist.
Recently Dave Stubbs has joined the team as its operations manager. Stubbs worked for Williams, Brabham, Stewart Grand Prix and Jaguar Racing, and worked in the A1GP series for the by ex-Formula One driver Jan Lammers managed Dutch A1GP team.
Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube, will be the major investor of the US F1 team, and he will also take an active role in sponsorship procurement and activation, external communications activities and enhancing exposure for the US F1 team through a variety of media-focused initiatives and campaigns.
Like Virgin Racing, US F1 also relies on the CFD technology for the initial design of the car, although the team said they will eventually make use of the Windshear wind tunnel. The team will also use the services of Crawford Composites for producing car parts, Raceworks, who have a shaker rig to test the completed car, CFD company Corvid, and McLaren Electronics Systems. All these companies, like US F1, are also based in Charlotte which will save the team a lot of money, and was the key reason why the team decided to base their headquarters in Charlotte.
Peter Windsor recently told the media the FIA has given them dispensation to test their car at the Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama. Because the team is the only Formula One team which has its base outside Europe, US F1 has been allowed to do three testing sessions in the US and will later join the other teams who will be testing in Spain next month. He also said that the team will announce their driver line-up very soon.
This concludes the review about US F1 Team; tomorrow we will take a look at Campos Meta.