US F1 looking to miss first four races


The sorry saga that is US F1 has taken a further twist with team boss Ken Anderson revealing that he is seeking permission from the FIA to miss up to four races.

"We're working with the FIA to clarify how many races we can miss," Anderson told the New York Times in a telephone interview. "In an ideal world, we can miss the first four races and show up in Barcelona."

Previously, Bernie Ecclestone revealed to Pitpass' business editor Chris Sylt that a clause in the Concorde Agreement allows teams to miss up to three races. Subsequently, FIA president Jean Todt appeared to confirm this.

However, the Frenchman was misquoted, rather than saying that teams could miss three races he said he believed that was the case but needed to seek clarification. Once this happened, the FIA issued a statement saying that teams could not miss any races and would face punishment if they did.

Asked if a financial penalty might actually put his team out of business, Anderson said: "I guess anything's possible. But what would be the point of that? Why would they give us a franchise and just, the first time there's a bump in the road, yank it and put it out of business? That's definitely not the message that I'm getting from them. They want to help us, not shut us down.

"We have a timeline in place that if we get a decision quickly, that triggers funding and we're good to go," he added. "If it takes another week or two to make a decision, it keeps backing up."

Despite reports that Jose Maria Lopez is on the verge of agreeing a deal with Campos, Anderson says the Argentine driver - who has a reported $8m in backing - is still under contract. "I'm sure he's weighing his options as well," he said.

Whatever, the FIA's decision, it's a mess and American race fans deserve as lot better. Interestingly, even the team's local media is tiring of US F1's attitude.

Writing on the North Carolina New Observer website, Bob Henry made his feelings quite clear. "Adding to the concerns of U.S. fans: The team hasn't told them anything," he writes. "Phone calls and e-mails - not just those originating here, have been pretty much ignored. But, hey, we're just the hometown media, not the European audience they would apparently prefer playing to.

"Maybe the announcement has to be made in a more formal setting," he continued, before following through with: "Monaco might be better."

"Boxing's corner men have to throw in towels every night. They do it, embarrassing as it is, to keep their guys from getting the crap beat out of themselves. And, guess what? It's perfectly honourable. There's no hiding in a ring. And when a ring is as big as Formula One's, you've got to wonder how long Ali's rope-a-dope will work.

"Are U.S. fans left to stand by?" he adds. "We'd all like to know what the plan is for USF1. If there is one."

So would we Bob, so would we.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 20/02/2010
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