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Thursday, October 8, 2009

FIA happy with US F1 progress

The FIA came away pleased after its second visit to the new US F1 team's Charlotte headquarters, AutoWeek reports, easing rumors the team was off track and would not be on the grid in 2010.

"I personally visited the U.S. F1 Team in August as well as this week, and I am impressed with the progress made by the organization since the Concorde Agreement was signed in late July," AutoWeek quotes Nick Craw, the FIA's deputy president for sport. "It has all come together very quickly for the team, and we welcome them into Formula One competition in 2010."

It was the second visit in three months for the Ken Anderson/Peter Windsor team. The first drew concerns over the team's progress from Max Mosley at the Italian Grand Prix, and were recently reiterated by Bernie Ecclestone.

Anderson said the team is well along on its car development, and will be on track in January for testing.

"We are proud to show them that, despite what is currently circulating in the rumor mill, our Charlotte shop is fully operational and we are well under way to construction of a unique U.S.-designed Formula One race car."

Drivers should be named by the end of the year, AutoWeek reports. It appears less likely there will be an American driver, however.

Mercedes-Benz/AMG Driving Experience

Peter Windsor told AUTOSPORT the team's driver development effort was a casualty of the Concorde Agreement saga.

"Because of all the time we've lost, our ambition to run two young Americans is looking more difficult. I'm still hoping we'll be able to run one American, but that's a tall order because there aren't many Americans out there with superlicences."

Among young Americans, Jonathan Summerton seems a likely candidate. AUTOSPORT also mentions Indy Lights champion JR Hildebrand.

Veterans Pedro de la Rosa and Alexander Wurz have also been mentioned in connection with the team. Both have a wealth of car development experience.

Should plans for an American driver fall through for 2010, the team plans to set up a young driver program to fulfill its long term goal of two American drivers.

"If we can't fulfil that [the plan to run an American] in 2010, we will certainly put a programme together for young Americans. We're making sure we're disciplined to put some money aside to help them with what they are doing whether it's Formula BMW in Europe, Formula Ford 2000 in the States or even GP2."

AUTOSPORT's Q & A with US F1's Ken Anderson Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six


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