Windsor admits to USF1 ‘humiliation’

Peter Windsor has admitted that the collapse of the USF1 project he was involved in was a humiliation.

USF1 failed to be ready for the start of the 2010 season after having been granted an entry, and Windsor and his co-founder Ken Anderson were eventually forced to concede defeat.

“Obviously I was very, very sad,” the 58-year-old told GPWeek. “Equally, I’ve learned a lot and, hopefully, I’m a better person for it. I wanted to do an all-new and very creative F1 team, we got an entry, we gave it 100 per cent and we didn’t make it. A few people have said a lot of nasty, critical things but believe me, none of the things they’ve said have been as tough as the things I’ve said to myself. That’s what happens when you try something difficult and new.

“If it was the right package by which I mean the right group of people and the right situation. For all that, I was very impressed with the decision made recently by Nicolas Todt (team principal of GP2 Series front-runner ART Grand Prix, that recently withdrew from the F1 2011 bidding process). Of all the people I know, he is perfectly-positioned to start a new team, yet he isn’t doing so. Why? I think it is because he believes F1 still has a long way to go and if anyone is perfectly-positioned to judge, it’s Nicolas. Don’t forget that we put USF1 together pre-recession, pre-budget cap, pre-FIA/FOTA split. Now the world is very different; now even the midfield F1 teams, let alone the new teams, are struggling to find sponsors.

“A friend said to me recently that a bit of humiliation is always good for the soul and, as hard as that is to swallow, I know deep down that she is right. I don’t think we were the only start-up company not to make it through the recession and we made it much further down the line than many other race team projects. You think Frank Williams began only in 1978? You think there weren’t three less successful Projects prior to McLaren’s Project Four? David Richards’ F1 operation never made it past the entry stage.

“No disrespect meant to any of those people or companies but let’s keep things in perspective. For my part, I love life and I love racing and I appreciate all my friends in racing even the critics. More than ever before, I also try to remember to be grateful every day for the opportunities ahead of me.”