Recession has not hindered USF1 plans

USF1's hopes of making it onto the grid in 2010 have been boosted, rather than hindered, by the global recession

Recession has not hindered USF1 plans

That is the view of the two key men behind the project, who claim that their plans for a tight-knit efficient F1 outfit are more amenable now than they would have been during the boom time of just a few years ago.

The team's sporting director Peter Windsor said: "There is one aspect to the recession, which is ironic, and that is that if we were in a boom period right now and money was falling out of the sky and there was a line of teams wanting to do Formula One, and lots of trillionaires out there all being enticed by the glamour, then it would be very difficult for guys like us to put up our hands and say we can do a team efficiently, (with a) lean, mean skunkworks approach.

"We can do it in America; we can do it differently from everybody else. [Back then] We would just have got laughed off the ballpark because it is not the way you do a Formula One team, but because of the fact that we are in the recession, and don't forget we started this team long before the recession was even heard of, means that people actually listen to us now and take us seriously.

"What we are saying actually adds up. And if you combine that with the way the FIA has approached the recession, the way they have changed the way a new team can get into F1, the cost of starting up a new team is now dramatically different to the old US$48m bond days.

"Forget those days, forget the US$100m budgets, forget the US$30m retainers for drivers. Over the next three to four years it is going to change dramatically, and that is our period."

Team principal Ken Anderson believes that as well as people being more receptive to a team like USF1, there were other tangible benefits caused by the recession.

"There is a trickle-down to the economy," he said. "A year ago there was a big shortage of carbon fibre because airplane manufacture was sucking it up. But now that people have cancelled their airplane orders there is a glut of carbon fibre, which is cheaper than ever. That's just one example."

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