US F1 Close to Shutting Down Operations
The negative reports started earlier this week, when it was confirmed that the team's head of business development Brian Bonner left the Charlotte-based organization because of lack of sponsorship for the 2010 F1 campaign. According to reports, Bonner left the team because YouTube's Chad Hurley reportedly decided to take his money elsewhere (probably towards Campos Grand Prix).
Ken Anderson himself admitted earlier this month that some sponsors have left the team, but insisted that everything is going according to plan. A few weeks later however, crash tests on the car were called off, testing for the Type 1 car has been scrapped and media interventions have been brought to a minimum.
“The bottom line is really simple: sponsor money didn't come through the way it was supposed to and it has grinded down the company to a halt. They're having trouble making payroll, they're having trouble paying suppliers and that's the situation they find themselves in,” said an anonymous insider cited by the New York Times.
Under the circumstances, the American dream will vanish completely in the next couple of weeks, as the majority of sponsors in the US have already secured their motor racing deals in NASCAR – a championship that has already started last weekend – and IndyCar Series.
The bad news for US F1 is surely good news for Stefan GP, who are waiting in line for an F1 entry from the FIA for the 2010 season. Unlike US F1, the Serbian team benefits from financial support from their country's government, having already purchased an already-designed car from Toyota (alongside its base and technology) and being close to confirming its lineup in the next few days.