FIA Confirms USF1 Bid

FIA president Max Mosley confirmed rumors linking an American Group entering Formula 1 under the USF1 name. Although no details were disclosed, the Englishman referred to the project as being handled by “serious people” and expects the new team to make the F1 field from as early as 2010.

“They are serious people but they are the same as everyone else, they need the costs to come down if they are to be competitive. They are recommended by Nick Craw, our man in the States who knows a lot of people. You have to take it seriously,” revealed Mosley to a group of reporters on Thursday.

In addition, the FIA boss insisted that the field could be further added 2 new teams, so that no less than 12 outfits would make the F1 roster in 2010. There are currently 9 teams in Formula 1, with Honda's F1 team still waiting on a response from potential investors to make the 2009 grid.

However, Mosley believes the new cost-cutting measures introduced by the FIA in December last year – the most relevant of whom are the reduced costs of standardized engine and gearbox – would make the sport more attractive in 2010. Two years from now, it is expected that the teams' budgets will drop by almost 60% as compared to 2008.

“I think we will have 12 (teams) in 2010. If we get the job done we will have 12 teams - it means independent engine and gearbox supplier at a sensible cost. Secondly decisions taken quickly and thirdly the commercial rights holder paying down to 12th place and also transport,” added Mosley.

The FIA president underlined once again the importance of F1 teams realizing the crucial economic moments Formula 1 is going through right now, insisting the days when billions were spent on F1 programmes are over. And Honda's failure to finding a buyer in time for the Australian Grand Prix is proof enough. Talking about the possibility of Nick Fry's team not making the field in 2009, Mosley added:

“I think it would make everyone realize finally that there really is a problem, as there are one or two people who still don't understand. I don't think it would matter provided we can lay out a plan for 2010, which makes it possible for a small team to come in and run competitively and do so without losing money. The days of the billionaires wasting money have gone,” concluded the Englishman.
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