After working the phones and beating the bushes for an unexpected source, rumors are afoot and Formula1blog.com can reveal that, according to those rumors, Team USF1 will be working with McLaren for their first year. We are not prepared to say the American-based team will be using Mercedes engines (as signs pointed to a Cosworth deal all-but-signed) but if the rumors are correct (and we do stress that these are rumors), USF1 could be engaging in a Force India-type of arrangement with McLaren for their first year in F1. It is also understood that YouTube were present with Team USF1 at their meeting with the FIA.
The questions that arise are many:
With the rumors that USF1 all but signed the Cosworth deal for lumps, does this mean they are working with McLaren for aero and chassis help?
Who are the investors behind USF1? Are they tied to McLaren or Mercedes in any way via a supply agreement for another team they may be running or invested in?
If the rumors are true, is this a change that has come about as a result of the FOTA/FIA resolution? Was USF1 prepared for the budget cap but not prepared for the glide-path reduction of costs the teams have apparently won?
Will Manor of Campos follow the same line? Nick Wirth’s main reason for coming back to F1 was Max’s proposed budget cap system for 2010. Does this change things now that Max seems to have been shown the door and FOTA have provided a glide-path model for a two year reduction instead of the draconian budget cap effective immediately?
What of Cosworth’s mandatory four-team requirement to be a provider for the series? Will Williams F1, USF1, Campos and Manor comprise the four teams? If USF1 does use Mercedes lumps, will this cast the Cosworth gambit in the bin?
Stay tuned and we will keep you posted as new rumors surface. As with rumors, there is always supposition and we caution that while we have no reason to doubt the rumor, we are also wise enough to know that rumors are often their own rewards. To those ends, we will endeavor to verify the information and keep our ear and phone pressed firmly together.