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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Born in USA, coming to F1

Formula One may have been dealt a big blow by the withdrawal of big manufacturers like Honda and BMW. However, it has also resulted in the birth of new teams that will be identified with different concepts, rather than the manufacturer's names.

Among them is a country-specific concept that will make its debut in 2010 in the form of the USF1 team which aims to promote American technology in Formula One. "We will build the car at our headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, and showcase American technology on F1," Peter Windsor, co-owner of the team, told DNA on the phone.

USF1 will be one of the three new entrants to Formula One from 2010. Though the drivers' line-up is yet to be decided, what has added an all-American flavour to the team is the announcement by Chad Hurley, co-founder of the popular video sharing website YouTube to invest in the team.

"As an American, Chad's involvement will not only be advantageous for the team but for F1 as well. The sport has never done a good job of promoting itself in the US. Besides, the involvement of an iconic member of the new media will lend credibility to the sport and create an enormous appeal for the new generation," Windsor said.

Though Windsor's aim is to promote American drivers, he may not have an all-American drivers' line up in the first year itself. "As a new team, we need experienced drivers behind the wheel. Since there are hardly any experienced American drivers, in all probability we will have non-American drivers for 2010."

Windsor is surprised by Force India's decision of not having an Indian driver. "I don't understand why Force India doesn't have at least one Indian driver considering that Karun Chandhok is extremely talented and has enough experience in GP2," Windsor said.

Windsor, who was earlier associated with Williams and Ferrari in managerial capacity, said he was not bothered about the fact that there won't be budget caps for next year.

"Our entry into F1 was not made in haste and it was also not on the premise of a budget cap. Though there are some teams which were assembled because of low costs, we had been planning this project for a long time. Therefore, absence of budget caps won't make a difference to the team," he claimed.

Coming back to the country concept, Windsor said Formula One is a huge brand and in order to become truly global, there could be government backed teams. "If we can have government-aided circuits like the ones in Shanghai and Bahrain, why not do the same with teams?," he asked.

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