The future of USF1 has been plunged into peril after co-founder, Ken Anderson, admitted that the team are seeking to miss the first four races of the season.
While Lotus and Virgin are well underway in their preparations for the upcoming season, USF1 and Campos have struggled to overcome a number of financial obstacles. However, last night it was revealed that Campos had been subject to a successful takeover bid by its majority owner, Jose Ramon Carabante.
With Campos now looking likely to race in 2010, this leaves USF1 to face increased media scrutiny and after the cancellation of its upcoming crash tests, the future of the team is questionable.
This was confirmed by Anderson in an interview with the New York Times who claims that the team will not be able to make the season opener in Bahrain, or the three subsequent races.
“We’re working with the FIA to clarify how many races we can miss,” he said. “In an ideal world, we can miss the first four races and show up in Barcelona.”
It is widely believed that the latest Concorde Agreement will allow USF1 to miss the first three races of the season and not face any disciplinary action. Nevertheless, the sport’s governing body, the FIA, has stated that that the new teams would breach the regulations if they were absent from any of the races.
“I guess anything’s possible,” Anderson said when asked about the possibility of the FIA taking action against his team missing an event. “But what would be the point of that? Why would they give us a franchise and just, the first time there’s a bump in the road, yank it and put it out of business?
“That’s definitely not the message that I’m getting from them. They want to help us, not shut us down.”
Although the American brushed aside suggestions that fellow co-founder, Peter Windsor, and investor, Chad Hurley, had left the team, he admitted that the team are still reliant on key sponsorship deals being confirmed if they are to survive.
“We have a timeline in place that if we get a decision quickly, that triggers funding and we’re good to go. “If it takes another week or two to make a decision, it keeps backing up,” he added.