USF1 an embarrassment to USA, FIA ponders green light for Stefan - Ecclestone UPDATE #2 Felipe McGough, Manager of José María L¢pez, has publically criticized US F1 Team Principal Ken Anderson, claiming that the American is the 'main culprit' in a situation which has seen the Charlotte-based team 'fool' several parties including its own employees and those who run Formula 1.With L¢pez having been signed as a US F1 driver at the end of January, the Argentinean's debut in the sport looks unlikely this year although a reserve drive at Hispania Racing (formerly known as Campos Meta) is still on the cards.
"The main culprit of all this is Ken Anderson," McGough explained to Argentina's FOX Sports. "These people fooled the FIA (F1 governing body), FOTA and all the teams, FOM (F1 commercial rights holder), all the employees they hired, 'Pechito' L¢pez and (ex F2 driver) Miloš Pavlovic, the other driver they had signed to be in the project.
"It's not like they only fooled us. The US F1 situation in Europe is some sort of scandal amongst teams because it makes F1 looks very bad; Argentina is just a small part of the problem but it's very, very big for Formula 1."
McGough added that L¢pez's deal was signed only two days after an FIA inspector noted that the US F1 project was running properly and now confirms that the driver is no longer part of the outfit, whose chiefs are expected to travel to Argentina in order to make a formal apology.
We spent all day talking with the team and finally managed to get released from the contract," McGough continued. "We had a meeting with Ken Anderson, with Chad Hurley (head of primary team sponsor YouTube)'s representatives, with Peter Windsor (Sporting Director) and with team lawyers.
"It was a very complex situation because they had not breached the contract but we knew that they would not make it to Bahrain, so we had to find a solution so that José María would not be tied to the team and could then find an alternative - that's what we achieved after many hours of negotiation."03/03/10 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, What did you expect? Ken Anderson's claim to fame was the lowly G-Force IndyCar. Did anyone really think he could pull off designing an F1 car? This project was destined to fail from Day 1. Mordichai Rosen, LA, California.
03/03/10 (GMM) USF1's dream is definitely over, after the FIA reportedly decided to reject the American team's request to freeze its official entry until 2011.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that the governing body is now deciding whether or not to immediately pass the final team slot to Stefan GP mere days before the season begins in Bahrain.
Bernie Ecclestone said passing in the entry for an official tender process so close to the Bahrain deadline makes "little sense".
"As far I know, Stefan GP could race in Bahrain," said the F1 chief executive. "Yet you should not believe everything you hear because we don't want the opposite to come true.
"The FIA will conduct a business review, and if positive, Stefan GP might get off the line in Bahrain," Ecclestone, 79, added.
The Briton scoffed at reports that Stefan's hopes also rest with the unanimous agreement of all the other teams.
"This has nothing to do with the others," said Ecclestone. "It is entirely up to the FIA to say yes or no."
Kazuki Nakajima is lined up to drive one of Stefan's Toyota-powered 2010 cars, and Ecclestone said "it would be great" if Jacques Villeneuve gets the green light to occupy the sister seat.
With Peter Windsor believed to have already departed USF1, team principal Ken Anderson told BBC Sport on Wednesday that "we are done" in the event that the FIA rejects his request to freeze the entry until 2011.
The F1 world is now waiting on the final entry list to be published, and a FIA spokesman said on Wednesday a statement will be made "soon".