Feb.18 (GMM) According to increasingly widespread reports, sources and rumours, the American entrant USF1 is nearing the end of the line.
The largest metropolitan newspaper in the United States, the New York Times, says the Charlotte based team is “plagued by financial troubles”.
Team principal Ken Anderson is quoted as saying earlier this month that “a couple (of) sponsors have let us down a little bit, but we’re on track”.
However, official crash testing for the car in England this week has been called off, as have pre-booked press interviews, and no testing for the ‘Type 1’ is “scheduled or planned”, the newspaper added.
“The bottom line is really simple: sponsor money didn’t come through the way it was supposed to and it has grinded down the company to a halt,” said an anonymous insider.
“They’re having trouble making payroll, they’re having trouble paying suppliers and that’s the situation they find themselves in,” he added.
Anderson and Peter Windsor, the team’s British sporting director, declined to comment.
It means rumours have flourished that USF1’s backer Chad Hurley, the CEO of YouTube, has been in talks to move his money to another team, such as Campos.
Argentine reports say a tearful Windsor this week informed Jose Maria Lopez, the team’s only confirmed race driver, that the project is in trouble.
Instead, like Hurley, 26-year-old Lopez’s management has turned its attention to other F1 teams.
A source close to Lopez told La Voz del Interior: “Maybe this is for the best and ‘Pechito’ (Lopez) ends in a car running better than the USF1.”