Calling Planet Anderson…

Mark Webber has likened the state of Formula 1’s new teams to a cartoon. But when intelligence reached my ears that not only are the two principals of USF1 no longer on speaking terms, but that one of them has been living in the Hilton Charlotte for over two months while trying to pacify an increasingly irate band of creditors, I was put more in mind of I’m Alan Partridge.

So while Peter Windsor subsists on room service while trying to clear up the mess that is USF1, Ken Anderson has been spouting cant to the press.

“The way the chips fell in January, that put us behind,” he told AUTOSPORT. “We were on schedule right up until mid-January, and that was when some issues arose with sponsors that kind of locked us up.”

Chips? Fell? What twaddle is this? Here’s how an F1 start-up works, Ken: sponsors and partners set certain key technical milestones, with deadlines, and when those are met – on deadline – hey presto! More money arrives.

And when I say “key technical milestones” I mean “actual bits of an F1 car, not just pictures of what they may look like”. It’s as simple as that.

Here’s another tip on how to get ahead in F1: if you’ve got a benevolent millionaire entrepreneur on board, share him with Bernie. Even just an introduction would do. A little more goodwill may have radiated from Princes Gate as a result.

The only hope left is to keep the entry notionally alive so that it can be sold to pay off the creditors, including some very angry Argentines; and the sorry legacy of this tawdry scenario is that the much-needed American F1 team and US Grand Prix now seem further away than ever. Still, the local Starbucks has done well out of it.

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  • Comments (7)
    • Nick in Dubai
    • March 4th, 2010

    I do blame ken for most of this mess, afterall it was he who was supposed to deliver the car. Windsor has been more high profile, but at the end of the day he was the sporting director, and since ken messed up building the car, he didnt relly get to do the ‘sport’ bit

  1. I wonder in what way the chips were down when no car materialised in November??

  2. if you’ve got a benevolent millionaire entrepreneur on board, share him with Bernie.

    that really is the secret, i think.

    peter has to shoulder equal responsibility for this mess though. he may have fulfilled his side of the bargain, but he agreed to partner ken in the first place.

    • Aaron James
    • March 4th, 2010

    Whatever Windsor’s actual role in the downfall of USF1 is, he had a responsibility as one of the founders to ensure the team had a product – in this case a car.

    I think as you say, he bears just as much responsbility for the mess as Anderson. Anderson may well be on some other planet than the rest of us. But Windsor should have seen that was the case and sought to course correct much, much earlier in proceedings (if he ever attempted to at all).

    • Stuart C
    • March 4th, 2010

    Certainly the team got the mantra of ‘underpromise and overdeliver’ utterly topsy-turvy from the early days – after all the assurances that it would have open and new media-friendly PR strategy, abject silence followed. I note that the PR man got out a week or two back and wrote a rather craven note to the effect of “I’m not crap at my job, it was all their fault…”

    • Steven Roy
    • March 4th, 2010

    Much as I would like to see a US team in F1 I really hope the FIA put this lot out of their misery. The last thing anyone needs is another year of this farce. There is no reason to believe that they will be any more successful in producing a car when everyone is suspicious of them when they couldn’t achieve it this year when everyone started of with a possitive view of them.

    • Lee
    • March 5th, 2010

    I really can’t see any investor coming in after this mess. The team has zero credibility now.

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