The USF1 team’s Charlotte factory is believed to have been effectively shut down, with workers placed on unpaid leave and told to stop working. The outfit has been plagued by rumours that it was well short of being properly financed or prepared, and is alleged to have submitted a request to the FIA to skip the entire season.

The ambition of bringing a US-based F1 team to the sport had metaphorically had the final nail put in its coffin, at least for the upcoming season.

AUTOSPORT has reports from a high-level source that staff present at the factory were instructed to down tools with immediate effect.

Neither of the team founders, Peter Windsor or Ken Anderson, was present as the announcement was made to staff, and neither has released any statement to the media.

While the team’s website remains online (for the moment), its factory switchboard number is “temporarily disconnected”, according to the message played when it’s called.

It beggars belief how the first of the rookie teams to have achieved FIA approval to compete in the 2010 season could not gets its project off the ground, in spite of the embarrassment of riches and talent it had in its homeland.

Its sole-signed wallet driver, José María López, will not need to get his $8M in money back and see if he can acquire a seat with any of the teams which still hold vacancies this season.

Sources are indicating that the Argentine driver could find a home as Campos’ test and reserve driver.

Which lastly leads us to the elephant in the room known as Stefan GP – no doubt cracking the champagne in Belgrade – who will now need for USF1 to officially withdraw its 2010 entry with the FIA in order for it to submit its own entry at the eleventh hour.

It is truly a sorry state indeed…

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.