Before the start of the Australian Grand Prix, I had the privilege of having a lengthy one on one interview with PETER WINDSOR, who is co-owner of the new American Formula One team – Team US F1.

Q – Do you have any sponsors yet?

A – No, we actually haven’t started looking for sponsors and approaching sponsors yet. Several companies have approached us and we’re quite far down the road discussing what they’d like to do. It’s been very encouraging. It’s all going to start around May. That’s when we’ll be making announcements. That’s when we’ll be moving into a new building, starting work, and hopefully the website will be running at that point. Everything will be starting.

Q – Is the funding all in place for the team?

A – The funding that we needed to achieve what we wanted for 2009 – yes. And what we need to achieve in 2009 is to be ready to race in 2010. The franchise is what it is. That has been achieved. Next year, 2010, we’re going to be a race team, with drivers, engines, the lot. But the last four years have been about the money we’d need to do what we have to do in 2009. Race teams are not geared to raise private funding to get them into a position to go racing, when they’re not on television, they’re just nothing more than a dream. That’s what we’ve been doing. That’s the really hard stuff. That’s when the phone calls don’t get returned, you don’t feel like getting on with it because you have a million other problems going on with your life, but you’ve still got to remain focused on raising this money you need to get the team to be what it is in 2009. And we’ve done that. We’ve sold off a certain part of the team to raise that private part of funding, have some investors – wonderful people and now we’re going to become a race team. We’re going to metamorpihize into a race team, like an insect becoming a butterfly in the next two or three months.

Q – You’re not going to go public?

A – No. Too complicated. And the goal of this new team is to keep it private – not to do an IPO (Initial Public Offering).  It is to remain what it is – a racing team. It will be very successful on the race track, and as a result it will generate an increasing amount of sponsorship because we are doing a good job. If we don’t do a good job, we won’t generate much sponsorship. We’ll start small and we’ll grow.

Q – In kind services are included in the cap?

A – Yes. We’d paying the normal rate for Windshear, I imagine, or whatever rate it is we have.
The best wind tunnel in the world is six miles from our factory and everybody else, if they want to use that tunnel, it’s 6,000 miles away. That’s the first point. Secondly, all the F1 teams have got their own wind tunnels, but none of them are as good as Windshear. And although they might say it will give us a better car, of course it won’t. It does give us a very good platform to begin as a new team. Any team in Formula One cannot really be – can’t walk before it can run. – if it doesn’t have very good basic technology – good wind tunnel, good CFD (computational fluid dynamics) coating, and in other areas of the car too. But mainly in the aerodynamics. It will be critical. If you have got that, then you can start putting the other building blocks together and build the team. But if you don’t have that, then it’s impossible to do an F1 team. If you don’t have access to a very good tunnel, and if you don’t have access to very good CFD, it’s difficult to build a car. CFD is computer wind tunnel testing without having to go to the wind tunnel. And we have both of those. So, from that we can build a team with logical building blocks over an organic area that makes sense. And whilst Windshear is no guarantee for success, it will be a nice thing for us to have in our back yard.