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Mosley confirms USF1 interest

NEWS STORY
05/02/2009

Max Mosley has confirmed that an American group has shown interest in entering the Formula One World Championship.

While refusing to name the team or anyone associated with it, Mosley today confirmed that representatives of the group has been in contact with the FIA with regards entering a team.

"They are serious people," he told reporters in London earlier today, "but I think they'll be the same as everybody else and they need the costs to come down if they want to be competitive."

With a number of cost cutting initiatives already in place, earlier this week the FIA proposed even more drastic cuts aimed at reducing the cost of entering a team to as little as 50m.

Even before the current global financial crisis Mosley was calling on teams to cut costs, warning that spending had spiralled out of control. Indeed, the FIA President pointed out that much of the spending was pointless in that it failed to improve the show or was of significance to fans watching on TV.

Then came the crash which has seen Honda quit the sport and placed a question mark over the future of various other teams and sponsors.

With the grid currently down to nine teams, Mosley is hoping the cost cuts will stem the flow and indeed bring new teams into the sport. However, in the current climate he remains sceptical.

"I think an entry would be difficult but not impossible," he said, "a lot depends on what their income could be.

"At the moment if a new team comes into Formula One they race for nothing for two years," he continued, referring to the current system, the domain of FOM not the FIA, "they do all their own transport for two years and they only get money in the third year. That is a significant barrier to entry."

Referring to the fact that the sport is losing teams not attracting them, he continued: "I think it is very unhealthy that there is no new blood in Formula One. We've got the two vacancies, possibly three if Honda don't make it.

"In the Premier League it would be unthinkable to have two vacancies. There is something wrong with Formula One and what's wrong is that the barriers to entry are far too high. Nobody could go out today with a private team and get 50 or 60 million in sponsorship. It's impossible for somebody to come into Formula One.

"We must change that," he said, "we must get the cost of the engines and gearbox right down. Then there's a lot of people who could make a chassis, provided we stop this thing of incredibly expensive components."

Asked about the anomaly of the United States having a team but not a round of the World Championship - this year there is no North American F1 event for the first time since 1958 - he replied: "From a sporting point of view, we should definitely have something in North America," Mosley said. "From a commercial point of view, I'm not really competent to say."

As it happens, Pitpass understands that following the FIA Gala in Monaco in December, Nick Craw, President of the Automobile Competition Committee for the US, and elected as the new FIA Deputy President for Sport in November, told one of those associated with the USF1 project; "Give my best to Ken and the boys. We'll have a piece of paper for you in a week or so."

The Ken in question is Ken Anderson, while the piece of paper is said to be the "FIA's official acceptance of USF1's entry into the 2010 World Championship".

Furthermore, in a rare move, Bernie Ecclestone has given the team behind USF1 the right to use the 2008 season edit (film) used at the Gala for promotional purposes in terms of investors and sponsors.

At the same event, when asked about the USF1 project, Mosley is quoted as saying: "Very impressed, looks terrific. If there's anything I can do to help just let me know. Ring any time. Anything you need."

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