The American Cypher Group – a collection of experienced F1 engineers – has lodged an intention to apply with the FIA to join the 2011 world Championship with its own team.
With USF1 famously collapsing at the eleventh hour leading into the current season, Cypher is hoping to take advantage of the vacant grid slot for the 2011 season. It is also believed – thankfully! – that neither Ken Anderson nor Peter Windsor is involved in the project.
The group is hoping to be the first US-based F1 team since the Carl Haas-owned Beatrice Lola concern, that competed unsuccessfully between 1985-6 with Alan Jones and Patrick Tambay at the wheel.
The group would be based in North Carolina – the same state as USF1’s Charlotte HQ – but has stressed that the project is very much in its early stages.
"We will only place a full application should we achieve fully the budget we believe is required to do this properly," a Cypher Group spokesperson explained.
"Even though we have some ex-USF1 members in our mix, Cypher Group was not born of disgruntled ex-USF1 employees. Cypher Group and its international members simply saw the potential of a US-based F1 team, the disappointment of the fans and the dreams of many young American engineers of having a home team. Hence we wish to give America the shot it deserves.
"Again we recognise that the time frame is not ideal, however we feel it has to be done now, due to the availability of a grid slot. But as we have stated, we will not submit a full entry unless we can fully achieve the budget we believe is required to do this properly."
Are American corporations seriously going to jump another another high-risk F1 project? They didn’t exactly leap onto the USF1 bandwagon in spite of all the press hype it created in its early stages!
Is this team headed for the same fate as USF1? I’m calling it now, and I’m happy to be proven wrong!