Wednesday 18 October 2017

Formula 1: US F1 in plea to FIA

Ian Parkes

The FIA are poised to clarify the position regarding troubled US F1 later today after the team asked to defer their entry until 2011.

It is understood the Charlotte-based outfit had asked to miss the opening four grands prix of the coming season, with the hope they would pitch up in Barcelona for the Spanish race in early May.

But the team's financial problems are so acute, team principal Ken Anderson is hoping motor sport's world governing body will take pity on his marque's plight and give them a year's grace.

"We have applied to the FIA to hold our entry until 2011," Anderson confirmed to Autosport.

"We are waiting for a reply from the FIA and are working with them.

"In the mean time, there is nothing for the employees to do, so we have told them to stop working on the current car until we have a decision."

US F1's problems started a few months ago after sponsors started to pull out, which led to production on the car grinding to a halt.

The team have since struggled to pay wages on time, whilst several members of staff have chosen to leave.

Despite that, US F1 still announced the signing of their first driver at the end of January in Argentinian Jose Maria Lopez.

Lopez, able to take up his seat due to sponsorship worth around £5million, now finds himself without a drive this year, although he has held talks with Campos Meta, today renamed Hispania Racing.

The FIA have been closely monitoring US F1's situation, prompting race director Charlie Whiting to visit the team's factory in North Carolina last week to assess the problems.

Waiting in the wings, but by no means guaranteed an entry, are a Serbian-based team by the name of Stefan GP run by Zoran Stefanovic and who are based in Toyota's old headquarters in Cologne.

At present they have an agreement to purchase the chassis as Toyota had already put into production their 2010 model prior to the shock announcement at the end of last season they were quitting F1.

Stefan GP are leasing an engine, gearbox, race team equipment and trucks, as well as office and workshop space in the former Toyota factory that equates to no more than 10% of the entire facility.

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