US F1’s hopes appeared to be over today, with sources revealing to Autosport.com the outfit has now closed down.
Against the backdrop of weeks of uncertainty, sources have revealed team personnel have been informed they are no longer required as the operation could not continue in its present guise and those staff who had remained at the team during its recent troubles were being put on unpaid leave — even though they remain technically employed.
The move will effectively end the F1 dreams of team principal Ken Anderson and sporting director Peter Windsor unless a fresh cash injection can be found. Anderson, however, has insisted that the Charlotte-based operation remains hopeful of making it onto the grid in 2011. He remains adamant that the team has not closed down, and says it now awaiting news from the FIA about if it can defer its entry from the start of this season until early 2011.
While it awaits a decision from the FIA, with an official entry list for 2010 expected imminently, the team has felt it pointless to continue work on the chassis it had originally planned to run this year.
The failure of USF1 to make it onto the grid means that there is now a vacancy for the Serbian team Stefan GP, which has been sitting on the sidelines for several months, although it is not clear if the FIA will opt to hand an entry to the team, or choose to simply open applications for the 2011 championship instead — leaving just 12 teams on the grid this season.