Windsor downplays Cosworth row & new teams

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You may recall the dust-up about FIA president Max Mosley insisting that any of the new teams wishing to join the F1 series for 2010 would have to use the Cosworth engine option orchestrated and put in to place by Mosley. There was a tender offered for a spec-engine to be offered to F1 teams with Cosworth winning the bid. In order to make the Cosworth option viable, 5 teams needed to commit to using the low-cost solution for power.

When the application process to join the F1 series opened this year many new teams applied with only three being selected for the coveted positions. It was later discovered that Mosely was insisting that any new team wishing to be considered for a slot on the grid must use the Cosworth option.

As you can imagine, this did not go well with many teams including Dave Richards of Prodrive and N. Technology whose case is to be heard in court as it has filed complaint against the FIA. Being forced to use an engine option that is rumored to be severely down on power is not something many teams would desire.

But one man is unclear as to why there are so many hard feelings over the issue. That man is USF1’s Peter Windsor as he told 422race:

“I wouldn’t call it a scandal at all, I found it all very odd,” he told 442race. “It was very clear that to enter Formula One you need to have a valid engine contract as a part of that entry – it was just one of the many criteria you had to fulfil.

“We had a valid engine contract and we were lucky enough to pass the test, and we got in. I can’t imagine what everybody is complaining about.

“The last time this happened, David Richards (of Prodrive) got the place: nobody else complained, they went away and went on with their things.

“One thing I would say is that every potential Formula One team that suddenly came together in 2009 and put in the bid had no chance of success. A Formula One team is not something that happens overnight, it needs a lot of training, a lot of work, a lot of commitment.

“As I said, we’ve been working on this project for five years, and I think Adrian Campos has done his work as well.

“I can’t understand really what all the fuss is about, because a new team happening in three weeks is never going to work anyway in my view.”

Windsor added that his team is happy with the way preparations are going ahead of the new season and again said the team was still on track to give its car an on-track debut early next year.

“We are about the same as any other F1 team,” he said. “We finished most of the design of the car and started the manufacturing. It will be ready for testing when everybody else will be testing, at the beginning of the 2010 season.

“Obviously, as we started the preparation from zero, we have a lot of other elements that we need to put together as well and all the politics in Formula One this year haven’t made life easy for new teams to come in.

“It’s been a difficult economy this year as well, but we’re in, we’re racing – and that’s the good thing.”

Well then, as USF1 has no issue with an engine supply it is quite nonsensical for other teams to take exception. I suspect Windsor used this as an opportunity to blow his horn a bit and suggest that many of the teams are/were fly-by-night operations incapable of staging a real shot at F1. Unlike USF1 I suppose but conventional wisdom and rumors up and down the paddock and corroborated by Mosley and commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone have USF1 as one of the teams most fail before competing in Australia this spring.

Although the FIA did visit the USF1 factory last week and they were impressed with the progress the team is making. Oddly, team Lotus F1 Racing was only just announced and they have a model of the car, USF1 doesn’t have a model or even a web site and they’ve been planning this team for five years? Hmmm.

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