March 2, 2010
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The now defunct USF1 factory
High level sources from USF1 have revealed that their Charlotte base was effectively shut down yesterday, as the employees were all laid off.
It is understood that just before lunchtime, production manager Dave Skog talked to the employees who had remained at the team (some had left), and told them that they were being put on unpaid leave, which technically means they’re still employed. This effectively means the end of the dreams for an American F1 team.
As well as the employees, the switchboard is not answering calls, saying that the number is temporarily not working. No emails to the team are being answered either.
Despite this, USF1 still need to be officially withdrawn from the championship before the FIA can look at giving Stefan GP the place. With Friday practice in Bahrain only 10 days away, it looks like a long shot for the Serbian team to get on the grid in time. It all depends on how quickly the FIA throw them out. Charlie Whiting visited the team’s factory last week, which must have showed him that they were incapable of getting the F1 car ready in time. So, hopefully, their entry will be abolished within a few days, and we can try and see can Stefan GP get into the championship in time.
March 2, 2010
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Campos Grand Prix, whose name will soon be changed
The Spanish media are reporting today that Campos Meta is poised to be renamed as Hispania Racing F1 Team, after the takeover by Jose Ramon Carabante 2 weeks ago. As well as this, Karun Chandhok is still expected to partner Bruno Senna, with Jose Maria Lopez now linked with the reserve seat.
With Adrian Campos no longer involves with the team that has his name on it, a change of team name was imminent. The Spanish news agency EFE is saying that this name change will be implemented before the season starts.
It is also being rumoured that Carabante will present his plans for 2010 in the Victor Vellegas audotorium in Murcia on Thursday. It may be the case that the drivers are confirmed here as well. While they are only rumours, the Lopez story seems to have truth behind it, as Victor Rosso, part of his managment team, explains:
"There are many chances that he will become the reserve driver at
"At the moment, Felipe McGough (Manager for López) is finalising
details to release him from his US F1 contract and retrieve his money
- it all now depends on how the termination of the contract goes.
"We have made it clear to the Americans that he should not be treated
like another businessman but instead like a person who has earned that
money thanks to much effort and that, furthermore, this is the last
chance he will have to race in Formula 1."