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USF1: We'll do it our way

NEWS STORY
24/02/2009

Just in case anyone was in any doubt, the co-founders of F1's newest team held an on-line press conference today in which they essentially set out their stall, taking time to admit that the global economic crisis has actually helped them.

As the FIA, manufacturers and teams fight to bring the days of hundred-million dollar budgets to an end, Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor admitted that the global recession has almost been good for them.

"To some extent the recession has helped," said Windsor, speaking on SpeedTV. "The fact we're in a recession means people actually listen to us now and take us seriously because what we are saying adds up.

"If you combine the way the FIA have approached the recession, the way they've changed how a new team can get into F1, the cost of starting up a new team is dramatically different," he continued. "Forget the $100 million budgets, forget the $30 million retainers for drivers, forget those days.

"There is one aspect to the recession, which is ironic," he continued, "and that is that if we were in a boom period right now and money was falling out of the sky and there was a line of teams wanting to do F1, and lots of trillionaires out there all being enticed by the glamour, then it would be very difficult for guys like us to put up our hands and say we can do a team efficiently, with a lean, mean approach."

While neither Windsor nor Anderson was giving anything much away regarding the funding of the team, it is known that both have been working hard behind the scenes for some time, courting prospective backers and sponsors. Both are adamant that the USF1 way will be their way, the new way.

"If you look at the way it has gone in the recent past, it has been to find a trillionaire and have him dominate the team... and you are lucky enough to get a job when you've put the team together. Or you are lucky enough to be invited by a large car company to set up an F1 team for them.

"Ken and I are lucky enough to have been around long enough not to want to do either of those things," Windsor continued, " and we always wanted to do our own team our way. It sounds very arrogant perhaps, but we have some history and we have some things that we want to bring into the sport that we think we can do well."

Windsor revealed that the project has been in existence for a lot longer than most might assume, and has the full support of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and FIA President Max Mosley.

"I first told Bernie Ecclestone about this in Brazil 2006," the Englishman revealed, "and he was his usual specific self. He just said, 'great get it done'. So I said okay lets go and do it. "He has kept in touch ever since and has always been supportive. Anything that we need he has tried to help us with. A good example is the DVD of the lovely edit he did of the 2008 season, which we have been using as part of our presentation to investors. It's not for commercial use, but that is a typical example of the sort of help he has been giving us, and that is quite a big thing from FOM.

"The FIA equally have known about this in detail now for about five to six months, and instantly grasped the programme and accepted the way we wanted to do it as, dare I say it, the poster child for how a Formula One team should be going into the next generation."

The team will be based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Anderson is adamant that this will not be a problem in what is a Euro-centric sport.

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