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GP Week : 13-Oct-2009
Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... FIA happy with USF1 progress DESPITE recent suggestions from F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone that the USF1 team would not be ready to compete in the 2010 F1 season, the FIA has declared itself impressed with the team's facilities in Charlotte, North Carolina. "I personally visited the USF1 Team in August as well as this week, and I am impressed with the progress made by the organization since the Concorde Agreement was signed in late July," Nick Craw, FIA Deputy President for Sport told Autoweek. "It has all come together very quickly for the team, and we welcome them into Formula 1 competition in 2010." "In two words, we're 'fully equipped,'" confirmed USF1 Team Principal Ken Anderson. "Our machine shop features three and five- axis CNC machines; we have a composite shop with autoclaves and a 24-foot CNC cutting table; a complete fab[rication] shop; assembly and sub-assembly; electronics; research and development; design and engineering; CFD and aerodynamics; marketing and communications; and a full in-house HD production facility, just to name a few departments. "Building a team and a world class manufacturing facility are a work-in- progress, but we're ahead of schedule and are excited about going racing next year." Anderson also re-confirmed that the team was well on track for next season and would be ready to take part in winter testing as early as January. "Thanks to our in-house design and engineering staff and the aid of our technical partners, for the last 10 to 12 months, the car has gone through thousands of iterations in a virtual environment," he said. "With this virtual design, we can test and be sure that it's right from structural, design and engineering standpoints, so we don't have to make a part, test it, break it and start again. Instead, we've taken out a lot of the guesswork and can get close to a race-ready piece right off of the machines, which is happening now. "Our timing is according to plan, with an early November "roller" and a finished car in time for January 2010 testing." the money, I cannot see how it will all be ready in time to go. "It is very disappointing because we thought it would happen, but they cannot go on missing deadlines. "They could still come to us saying they have the money, but there is no way the circuit would be ready at this late stage. It looks as though we will have to start planning again." Ecclestone has already said that he would be willing to see the British Grand Prix return to Silverstone in 2010 should Donington fail in its bid to host the race. However British Racing Drivers' Club President Damon Hill has said that, should Ecclestone wish to return to Silverstone, the circuit would not be interested in a one-year stop-gap deal. "We have always said we are ready and prepared to host next summer's Grand Prix," Hill told The Daily Mail. "But, frankly, in order to do this we would want a multi-year contract." Playing hard ball with Ecclestone is commendable on Hill's part but ultimately may prove churlish. Ecclestone holds the power and could easily and quite happily pull the British Grand Prix from the calendar. It would now appear that the promises broken by Donington Park have called into question not only its own future as a Grand Prix venue, but the very future of the British Grand Prix itself. on's D-Day -- will Silverstone step in? F1 NEWS >> 9