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Lopez to be confirmed at US F1 on Monday?

NEWS STORY
23/01/2010

A spokesman for Argentine driver Jose Maria Lopez claims the 26-year-old will be officially confirmed as one of US F1's drivers on Monday.

"Everything has been agreed and the official announcement will be made on Monday," Miguel Mattos told Reuters.

It's understood that Lopez, who first emerged as a candidate for the US F1 drive in November, has been in final negotiations with the American team this week having secured additional funding from the Argentine government. The remainder of the money - thought to be around 5m ($8m) in total - comes from long time personal sponsors.

In August, asked if his team would consider pay drivers, US F1 co-founder Peter Windsor told Sports Illustrated: "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.

"However, 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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