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Despite this, USF1 still need to be officially withdrawn from the championship before the FIA can look at giving Stefan GP the place.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.