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My (stolen) thoughts on USF1

December 30, 2009

There’s not going to be anything here that other people haven’t said before.  It’s just that I’m starting to calm down a little bit and think objectively about what’s being said (especially over in the sidepodcast community).  Dan Brunell over at Racing Eagles had a nice post about the 8 things he thinks USF1 should do.  I’d probably buy that toaster.

I _REALLY_ want there to be a US Formula 1 team and I got into a “nobody hits my little brother but me mode” about it.  I was excited about what Peter Windsor was saying.  Better access to the team and the car manufacturing process through social media.  I think a properly run and financed US based team could be competitive (eventually).  Our single seat driver pool isn’t that great because of Nascar’s popularity but that could be helped by a team that supported young driver development, which USF1 seems to at least be thinking about with their support of F2000 in the States.  There are a lot of fans in the States and the support is there.

Whenever USF1 would come up I’d get pretty defensive.  I couldn’t help it.  I don’t think it’s as bad as people are saying but I am worried (perhaps that’s why I was getting defensive, not wanting to admit the others were closer to reality than I was).  It took a long time for the team to get a minimal website going, get pages on twitter and facebook, and start showing off their facility in their recent videos (although how up to date this video is with the car parts is unknown).  They seem to have a bit more than just a nose, but not much.  The only serious driver news is maybe Jose Maria Lopez.  Joe Saward speculates that Ralf Schumacher turned them down (he should be BEGGING for a drive if he actually wants one).  Why talk up the Windshear tunnel but design the car solely using CFD?  Why so quiet for so long?  Peter’s recent post on the teams website sounds like a lot of butt covering to me.

Oh, yeah, their website.  I don’t think the design is THAT bad.  It could be better but at least it’s not Flash driven.  There are links for a “blog” and news but no RSS or permalinks that I could find.  A team that claimed to be more fan friendly from the beginning needs to do better than this.

None of these worries are new, they’ve all been expressed elsewhere.  I’ve liked Peter’s coverage on Speed TV’s formula 1 broadcasts the two years I’ve been watching and I hope he’s successful.  I’m still being patient (and optimistic), but if we haven’t seen a car and had a lot of movement on the drivers front by the end of January I’m changing my tune!

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