The USF1 team is assessing 12 drivers ahead of its first season in Formula 1 next year. The Cosworth-powered organisation, run by Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor, is yet to announce any part of its line-up although management is confident that, contrary to some reports, much progress is being made.
With the highly experienced Anderson and Windsor at the helm, the former is confident that – contrary to some reports – the outfit is not behind its fellow debutant teams as 2010 approaches. “Through the work in our offices and with the help of our technical partners, the car has improved a lot on the virtual map over the last twelve months,” American Team Principal Anderson told France’s AUTOhebdo.
“With this virtual design, we can test and make sure we’re on the right track in terms of our structural frame and are now moving closer to the construction phase; we’re on schedule to complete out first chassis by November and the car will be completed in time for testing in February.”
Driver-wise, several names have been mentioned over the course of 2009, not least former F1 hotshot Alexander Wurz and 1997 Champion Jacques Villeneuve. Due to a lack of options in Europe and the difficulties to obtain an FIA Superlicence, however, Windsor has already cast doubts over whether an American driver will be recruited for the team’s first campaign.
“The most important thing for us is to work with drivers who have experience in F1, simply because the number of test days has been decreased,” Anderson continued, referring to the new limited testing regulations of this year. “Pedro de la Rosa is on our list – his F1 experience would be a major asset for us; our list has about twelve names on it – all are excellent drivers who could bring us a lot and choosing two or three of them will not be easy.”
Former Super Aguri driver Franck Montagny is also believed to be in touch as well as Argentina’s José María López who, after testing for Renault in 2006, visited the team’s factory on Thursday.