The utter embarrassment that was the USF1 operation has been hit with a €309,000 fine by the sport’s governing body, the FIA, and barred from ever competing in Formula One competition.
Headed by Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor the American outfit was granted an entry for the 2010 season but failed to appear on the starting grid in Bahrain, after squandering a reported $28M budget with next to nothing produced.
Forced to liquidate its assets, USF1 has now had the FIA join its continually-increasing list of creditors and announced its punishment overnight, in addition to completely discrediting the team heads for their mismanagement of the entire project.
The value of the fine is “equivalent to the entry fees for the championship”, it said in a statement, while adding that USF1 has “definitely” been excluded from “any competition” for being in breach of the sport’s regulations and the international sporting code.
As the team has no “current financial liquidity”, the fine will effectively be the forfeiture of the entry fee the USF1 team paid, in addition to being ordered to pay “the costs incurred by the FIA within the context of this disciplinary procedure”.
In a display of arrogance that has become sadly typical of the USF1 management, the team chose to blame the media for its downfall, claiming its “sponsorship climate deteriorated after Christmas … [due] to many negative press comments” about the operation’s health.
Even the likes of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone were calling bull on USF1’s ambitions before the season even started – a fact the team tried to submit into evidence to support its case! – but the FIA responded that the team could and should have countered the perception if its “funding, sponsorship and construction processes [had actually] been on target”.