American driver unlikely for US F1
|By Edd Straw and Jonathan Noble||Wednesday, October 7th 2009, 15:59 GMT|
Team US F1 is unlikely to run an all-American driver line-up when it comes into Formula 1 next year, and could end up not running one in either seat.
Team principal Peter Windsor told AUTOSPORT that because of the delays caused by the late signing of the Concorde Agreement at the end of July and the lack of suitable American candidates, it is likely to employ at least one overseas driver.
"Because of all the time we've lost, our ambition to run two young Americans is looking more difficult," Windsor told AUTOSPORT.
"I'm still hoping we'll be able to run one American, but that's a tall order because there aren't many Americans out there with superlicences."
The plan to run an all-American driver line-up in the long term will remain, with US F1 hoping to fund several young drivers in junior categories next year to develop future grand prix prospects.
A1GP race-winner Jonathan Summerton, who heads into this weekend's Formula Atlantic finale at Laguna Seca with a shot at the title, has been linked to the team, which is also known to have been impressed with Indy Lights champion JR Hildebrand.
"If we can't fulfil that [the plan to run an American] in 2010, we will certainly put a programme together for young Americans," said Windsor.
"We're making sure we're disciplined to put some money aside to help them with what they are doing whether it's Formula BMW in Europe, Formula Ford 2000 in the States or even GP2.
"GP2 is expensive, but I'm hoping we can find enough money to do that if that's what needs to be done."
Windsor is keen for US F1 to run at least one driver with experience next year, with both Alex Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa linked with the team, and is confident that there are plenty of available options.
"There is a huge argument for running one experienced driver to give us that leg up into year one," said Windsor. "You could ask why that wasn't always the argument because it's a nice feeling for a new team to have two young drivers who grow at the same rate.
"But that required more downtime that we didn't have. It will be interesting when the music stops how many of the experienced guys are standing.
"It's a buyer's market. Let's hope that really talented drivers like Anthony Davidson, Jamie Green and Gary Paffett all get a chance in F1 because it's sad that so many talented drivers haven't had a chance."