In the way that only F1 can, following the hushed and excited speculation on last week’s rumours that there will be a team based in North Carolina and called USF1 on the grid from 2010, Peter Windsor has now spoken officially on the topic.
And just what has he got to say? Follow the jump, my friends.
In an exclusive interview with the US SpeedTV network (for whom Peter Windsor does commentary during the F1 season), Peter Windsor said, “I guess the real surprise is that we were able to keep it quiet for so long. The news broke this week but the real announcement is going to be live on SPEED, potentially on Feb 24.” Around that time, the screencap you saw heading the article you’re now reading became what you’ll see if you take a look at the official USF1 website—only there, the countdown clock is live. Which puts the announcement at 8am EST, which is well appropriate for Charlotte, NC. We’ll be sure to stay tuned for actual news, then, as opposed to announcements of “Oh yes, THERE WILL BE NEWS.” There is, after all, nothing like F1 for putting on the drama and dragging a thing out….
Meanwhile, in actual news, ING’s sponsorship deal with Renault will be a thing of a past after the current season. Their official “It’s not you, it’s us” letter press release stated the following:
“ING’s participation in Formula One was the company’s first global sponsorship project aimed at delivering revenue and raising the global brand awareness, particularly in ING’s key growth markets. Over the past two years, ING has successfully achieved its objectives for the F1 sponsorship, raising its overall global brand awareness by 16% (March 07 vs November 08).
“F1 remains a powerful business driver even in a difficult economic climate. Whilst ING has cut the F1 sponsorship costs by 40% in the final year, revenue generating opportunities will be a continuing focus through 2009. ING has enjoyed the relationship with Renault F1 and will continue to work closely with the team during the final year of the partnership.”
Finally, Timo Glock has spoken out to Autosport.com about the ongoing row regarding what some poor, put-upon drivers see as exorbitant superlicense fees. Although it’s silly to compare, say, your or my salary to even the by-comparison-quite-small one (F1-world-wise, anyway) of Timo Glock, I do suppose it might raise some eyebrows if something you’d paid for a few years back at a cost of 1,690 Euros suddenly cost you a whopping 10,400 Euros this year. I think I can actually sort of see that argument, especially for those drivers who are at the back of the grid. That fee is, after all, across the board, whereas the points-based additional fee that drivers have to pay would cost Lewis Hamilton a lot more than it would Timo Glock, and therefore makes a larger amont of sense. Obviously, HAM is clearly making more money than a lot of drivers. And what of Bernie Ecclestone? He, of course, thinks it’s all quite fair, but I think it’s rather obvious that he’s a touch removed from the harsh reality those poor boys in the F1 sweatshops have to deal with on a daily basis, right?