While revealing that he is “looking at anything” to keep his protégé, José María López, in F1 for 2010, the Argentine’s manager Felipe McGough has publically attacked the “deceit” of the USF1 team principals, Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor.
The follows the suspension of operations for the Charlotte-based organisation, which has applied to defer its 2010 entry until the 2011 season, leaving López high and dry and without an F1 drive on the eve of the season-opening Bahrain GP.
López was apparently informed last month by USF1 management that team’s prospects of making the start of the season would be highly unlikely, if indeed it was able to make the season at all.
Since then, López and McGough have been frantically working the secure either a race or test driver role with fellow debutants Hispania Racing Team – previously known as Campos – or the aspirant Stefan GP team.
The ex-Renault test driver had reportedly stumped up a deposit of some US$830,000 to secure his seat with the floundering team, which McGough is now aiming to have returned by the team now that it is in breach of its contract with López.
This cash might prove pivotal in his being able to secure a set with Hispania Racing or Stefan GP. Securing a drive with the former looks the more likely option, with McCough and Hispania Racing’s new owner José Ramón Carabante having met for preliminary discussions to secure the Argentine driver at the team in (at least) a reserve driver role.
Speaking with Argentine TV’s Ultima Vuelta, McGough said: ““We met with Ken Anderson, Peter Windsor, the representatives of [YouTube co-founder and primary USF1 investor] Chad Hurley and the team’s lawyers.”
“It was a really complex situation, because we had to get them to release us from the agreement taking into account [that] the team will not be present in Bahrain and [that] it will be very difficult for them to [compete] throughout the season due to the project’s delays.”
In a separate interview with local radio station Cadena 3 Cordoba, McGough was particularly critical of USF1 bosses Anderson and Windsor.
“Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor will travel to Argentina in the coming days to give us an explanation about everything that has happened, since the sole responsibility is theirs’,” he complained.
“The main culprit is Ken Anderson. He deceived the FIA, FOTA (Formula One Teams’ Association), FOM (Formula One Management – Bernie Ecclestone’s commercial rights company) and broke the Concorde Agreement.
“We have already told [Hispania Racing] that López is free, they are aware of everything, and now we are waiting to see what is decided in Europe. We are looking at anything that allows José María to stay in Formula 1, even as the reserve driver.”