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This is a discussion on U.S. F1 Team Update within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; The Charlotte, N.C.-based Formula One upstart U.S. F1 has finally given us a look inside its facility, a significant step ...

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    U.S. F1 Team Update

    The Charlotte, N.C.-based Formula One upstart U.S. F1 has finally given us a look inside its facility, a significant step toward dispelling any lingering doubt about the project's legitimacy.

    Housed in the old Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR team shop, the team--as seen in these photos--has a design office up and running, along with a machine shop, carbon-fiber-baking autoclave, multi-axis CNC machines and rapid prototyping machine.

    Spearheaded by engineer Ken Anderson and longtime F1 journalist, team employee and TV personality Peter Windsor, U.S. F1 insists it will be on the grid at the season-opening race in Bahrain on March 14. Anderson and Windsor have secured backing from YouTube cofounder and CEO Chad Hurley, who they announced as a third partner in August.

    Though U.S. F1 does not expect to test a car on the track until next year, it has an engine-supply deal with Cosworth. Anderson said he expects a real-life car to emerge in November.

    There is still no word on drivers, though F1 veterans Pedro de la Rosa and Alex Wurz have been linked to the project, along with young Americans Jonathan Summerton and John Edwards, who compete in the Atlantic Championship, and J. R. Hildebrand, the 2009 Indy Lights champion.

    Windsor told AutoWeek recently that while he wants to ultimately feature two American drivers, it is likely that he will initially sign the two drivers who he feels can best meet the team's initial development needs, regardless of nationality. Several other experienced F1 drivers are without race seats for next year, including Anthony Davidson and Sťbastien Bourdais.

    Meanwhile, Anderson--who has been the less visible of the two team bosses, if for no other reason than Windsor's Speed TV gig--took time on Wednesday to answer some basic questions. The Q&A was provided by U.S. F1.


    Q: Ken, we're hearing about a lot of activity in Charlotte these days. What is going on at the U.S. F1 Team?

    It has been quite a ride since we started the team last year, and has become far more intense since the signing of the Concorde Agreement. Our world headquarters is now complete and fully functional, and the 2010 race car is in the construction phase.


    Q: So the car is finally being built? Isn't it a little late to get something like that started?

    Funny that you ask that question--we get that one a lot. Thanks to our in-house design and engineering staff and the aid of our technical partners, for the last 10 to 12 months, the car has gone through thousands of iterations in a virtual environment. With this virtual design, we can test and be sure that it's right from structural, design and engineering standpoints, so we don't have to make a part, test it, break it and start again. Instead, we've taken out a lot of the guesswork and can get close to a race-ready piece right off of the machines, which is happening now. Our timing is according to plan, with an early November "roller" and a finished car in time for January 2010 testing.


    Q: So who's building the car? Americans? Europeans? Are you building the car in Charlotte?

    I'll answer the last part of the question first. Yes, we're building the car in our shop here in Charlotte. America is known as a "melting pot," and our team is a reflection of just that. Americans, Europeans, New Zealanders, Welshmen and more are responsible for the race car, including many who have high-level experience in the current Formula One environment. Many of our new hires we connected with back in June and July, and they will be joining the team formally at the end of the month. We are very grateful to the current Formula One teams for releasing some of our "newest" team members early--that has been a huge help as we continue to prepare for the 2010 Formula One season.


    Q: Let's talk about what we're seeing in some of these pictures. What are we looking at here?

    In two words, we're "fully equipped." Our machine shop features three- and five-axis CNC machines; we have a composite shop with autoclaves and a 24-foot CNC cutting table; a complete fab shop; assembly and sub-assembly; electronics; research and development; design and engineering; CFD and aerodynamics; marketing and communications; and a full in-house HD production facility, just to name a few departments. Building a team and a world-class manufacturing facility are a work in progress, but we're ahead of schedule and are excited about going racing next year.


    Q: Can you talk a little about the cost efficiency of manufacturing a Formula One car in the United States. How can the operation be cheaper than what we've seen out there?

    The major cost savings will be that the engineering and production of the cars will be done in the United States. Our technical partners located within a 30-mile radius of our shop contribute to this savings, as there are some departments we don't have to have in-house, such as a wind tunnel, shaker rig, K&C machine, additional CFD support and a center of gravity machine. What most people see--the transporters, motor coaches and the "lifestyle" side of Formula One--are a much smaller part of the overall budget and will be located at our European facility, which we'll tell you about soon.

    For more F1 racing news and reports, click here.



    Read more: U.S. F1 releases first photos of team facility, answers questions: AutoWeek Magazine
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    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    That shop is 7 miles from my doorstep.
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    Hammerdown Mod of Thunder josnroh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfieldsWRX View Post
    That shop is 7 miles from my doorstep.
    pleasehirewillworkfornerdpoints
    Get down there on open house and take some pics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by josnroh View Post
    Get down there on open house and take some pics.
    ^ +1

    some pics of the facility would rule.
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    Registered User EnzoG's Avatar
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    wow very cool, I had no idea that this was even going on. Would love to see American drivers in F1 though
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    If it were not for the last comment in the interview, regarding the EU-based facility, I'd have been left with the impression that this venture has all the makings of a disaster. However, since they will maintain a presence in Europe they won't be damned into a situation where every single GP is "away" and every single development session or even scouting trip is a cross-ocean expedition.

    The other issue is where everyone will live, literally. When Andretti's son tried to make a run at F1 in the 90s I think he somehow decided to live in the US, taking trans-Atlantic flights. I've not heard of him since 1995 or so, which IMO could be quite telling.

    Windsor is very likable and I wish them well, hope they put out a competitive chassis and give the others a run for their money.
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    i wish 'em all the best ...ray get over there and get a jawb
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    cant wait to see a cosworth powered car on the grid
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    It all sounds very nice and I like seeing a US team but they'll probably just be another back marker team.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavallino333 View Post
    It all sounds very nice and I like seeing a US team but they'll probably just be another back marker team.
    I would be shocked if anything else happened for the first 1-3 years.
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    AN UPDATE ON THE F1 TEAM : U.S. F1 team principal Peter Windsor says he thinks that NASCAR star Kyle Busch would be a perfect fit for his new Formula One team.

    "If he wanted to drive for us in 2011, we'd certainly be keen on that," Windsor told USA Today. "I think there'll be a lot of speculation about that as time goes on. If I was Kyle, I'd be saying to myself, 'Yeah, those guys all talk the talk, let's see what they do, let's see what the car's like. Let's see what the race shop is like.' Fair enough. We're going to do a good job. I know when Kyle gets to see it, I'm pretty sure it'll get his pulse rate going."

    Windsor has stated previously that the new outfit, formed along with engineer Ken Anderson, is unlikely to have an American driver when it makes its planned debut next year. The team needs experienced F1 drivers to develop the car and the team, both of which U.S. F1 says are progressing inside the team's Charlotte, N.C., shop. But Windsor made it clear that Busch is at the top of his list for 2011.

    "I've watched him a lot and have massive respect for him," Windsor said. "I know people who know him very well. I believe Kyle can win a world championship in Formula One. I think he's got exactly the right talent, the right approach. I'd love to see him in a Formula One car.

    "If he wants to jump in our car next year for doing some demonstrations here in the States, he's very welcome to do that."

    While Windsor said that he has yet to meet Busch in person, he has met with the stock-car driver's management team. Busch said previously that he could imagine himself switching from NASCAR to F1 for a few years, then returning to the Sprint Cup Series. If Windsor does push hard to land him, the timing won't be a problem: Busch's contract to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing expires at the end of 2010.

    Whoever ultimately ends up behind the wheel of a U.S. F1 car, Windsor once again stressed that he is committed to developing American talent so that F1 is a viable option for young U.S. drivers.

    "I don't want to be arrogant about it, but I feel confident I can find, with the help of others, a Nigel Mansell in the United States," Windsor said. "We can see the drivers who have the right touch, feel, suppleness and mental approach to be worthy of being a world champion."
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    So wait, one can qualify for a superlicense from NASCAR? With experience neither in open-wheel racing nor on any of the tracks used in the world championship?
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    Hammerdown Mod of Thunder josnroh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    So wait, one can qualify for a superlicense from NASCAR? With experience neither in open-wheel racing nor on any of the tracks used in the world championship?
    Fascinating,isn't it.I mean absolutely no open wheel experience,unless you want to include carts as a youngster,and if so, I'm qualified for F1.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    So wait, one can qualify for a superlicense from NASCAR? With experience neither in open-wheel racing nor on any of the tracks used in the world championship?
    To be honest wouldn't they be better off spending the first two to three seasons working on getting their car into shape and get a driver like Hulkenberg to do their driving. This way they're not developing a car and a driver at the same time.
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I heard today that they are going with an American but not from the US, since they could not find a US driver with a superlicense (and as one would think, NASCAR does not qualify for a superlicense).
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    That leaves one more spot. I don't know what US drivers are realistic options but if they can't find a US person maybe they can get a north American to go with the south American by using a Canadian or a Mexican I suppose - or cough up the cash and see if Raikkonen is interested and awake.
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