FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting is believed to be traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina in order to inspect the USF1 entry amidst troubling reports coming from the new team. It is suggested the squad are in serious trouble and one team insider has leaked information saying that only current investor Chad Hurley is in a position to save the effort from failing entirely. According to Autosport, Hurley is apparently hoping to merge the team with either Campos Meta or Stefan GP, the former having just been taken over by Jose Ramon Carabante and the latter still waiting in the wings.
Currently neither the FIA nor USF1 have confirmed the visit, but Autosport have revealed that a high-level source has stated the FIA are looking at the viability of the team ahead of the season’s opening race in Bahrain in less than three weeks time. More so, the source went on to explain that morale within the company is slipping, something that team co-owner Peter Windsor may have missed.
In a meeting between the employees, Windsor and Anderson, Windsor put the question up to the employees: ‘Who here doesn’t think we’ll make Bahrain?’ I think he might have meant it somewhat rhetorically, but he was answered nonetheless, and 100 per cent of the staff raised their hands. He was visibly shocked. Autosport Source.
If USF1 do not make it to the Bahrain Grand Prix, there may be sanctions imposed on the squad as the FIA take matters such as these seriously. The Concorde Agreement supposedly includes a clause which states a team may miss up to three races a season, but the FIA confirmed soon after this became public knowledge that any races missed would be considered a breach of contract.
It seems to be a great shame that a new team to Formula One is struggling, but it also seems very strange that it should be USF1. The squad were by far the earliest entrant to announce interest in joining the sport and have received backing from YouTube co-founder Hurley. The team, which was billed has America’s entry in Formula One, spoke of grand plans and given the time Windsor and fellow owner Ken Anderson have had to work on the project, it is surprising that this situation has developed.