F1 News: USF1 Hopeful for 2011 Debut (Yeah, Right)


USF1 are trading on just about the only credit anyone can give them these days: boundless, heedless optimism in the face of crushing reality.

ESPN (via Crash.net) is reporting that the team are apparently hopeful that they’ll be granted a place on the grid for the 2011 season.

More after the jump. Take all the time you need until you’re done crying with laughter.

USF1 failed to make the grid at the 2010 season opener at Sakhir in Bahrain. That is a cold, hard fact. They asked the FIA to delay their existing entry until 2011, a request that has been denied. That is another cold, hard fact. Team principals Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson are currently facing the prospect of wrist-slapping, fines, and untold sanctions from the FIA due to their failure to make good on the promise of providing two working race cars to fill out the grid for 2010.

No official word has yet been given for why, exactly, they pulled out of toaster-making. Rumours, of course, have run rampant. Whispers about how employees and creditors alike weren’t getting paid on time, about how delegation and organization were seriously lacking, and even how they allegedly only had a single mechanic on staff have flown all over every corner of the Intarwebs that gives a tiny rat’s behind about the subject. If and when we ever do know the true story in its entirety, I have the feeling it may be even stranger than the rumours we’ve heard.

What’s most frustrating about this is that I fear USF1’s failure will have, in large part, continued to reinforce the notions that the rest of the world has about the US not being a viable place for F1. Sure, F1 is seen as the world pinnacle of motorsport. And let’s face it, they’ve got more of a leg to stand on with regard to that “world” thing than, say, baseball’s “World Series” in North America. But USF1’s failure, particularly coming in the heart of NASCAR country as it did, has only served to make the situation for the sport in that country that much worse.

Remember how badly cheated you felt at Bernie’s announcement that the historic race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was off the schedule? At least we could hold our heads high, secure in the knowledge that the world knew damned well we’d produced some of the best drivers in the world. Any glance over F1’s storied history will tell you that. As a concerned neighbour, it’s hard seeing the fallout of the USF1 debacle as anything other than a looming shadow that will linger over any serious prospects for the future of F1 in the US for decades to come, at the very least.