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Jose Maria Lopez claims that he has essentially secured a deal to drive for US F1 next season, the deal being dependent on the Argentine youngster finding up to $8m in sponsorship.
On his personal website the youngster reveals that after preliminary talks he has visited the team's North Carolina HQ when there was a verbal agreement that a deal will be finalised next week. With reports that Lopez has already found 70 percent of the money required by US F1, he now has to find another $2.5m.
"I would be very happy if he raced with us next year," Peter Windsor told Auotsport.com. "He's not just another driver on the list. Jose is more than that. He is a driver we are interested in and we want him to be with us. We would like to sign the contract as soon as possible."
Flashback just three months to August when Windsor told Sports Illustrated magazine: "We've been offered well over three-quarters of our racing budget by two drivers already, neither of whom have raced in Formula One but both have won races in GP2. Both of them have massive sponsorship they can bring us from their home country. Ken Anderson and I have got to be very strong, look one another in the eye and say, 'No, we're not going to accept that money, we're not going to hire those guys because we're going to remain true to our convictions'.
"There are very good American drivers out there," he added. "To be honest, shame on Formula One and shame on American motorsport that some of these great young Americans with single-seater talent have not been nurtured more and given more opportunity."
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