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US F1 Set To Announce Driver

Jonathan Ingram | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, January 24 2010
USF1 owner Ken Anderson, left, and driver Jose Maria Lopze. (File photo courtesy of USF1)

US F1 co-owner Ken Anderson, left, driver Jose Maria Lopez, center and co-owner Peter Windsor. (File photo courtesy of USF1)

US F1 will formally announce Jose Maria Lopez as its driver in Argentina on Monday, a business manager has confirmed. The 26-year-old former Renault test driver has sponsorship in place from the Argentianian government through the Automobile Club of Argentina as well as commercial backing.

Peter Windsor, the sporting director for US F1, has been in Buenos Aires meeting with government officials and commerical sponsors to hammer out the final details of a contract with sponsors. His trip has also included a meeting with former F1 driver Carlos Reutemann.

Windsor was quoted by the publication Corsa as saying the US F1 team expects to have the team’s first car assembled and testing by mid-February.

When Lopez first signed a deal with US F1 contingent upon bringing sponsorship, a representative of the ACA said he would have to bring a total package of $8 million to the team, a figure confirmed again in Argentina this week.

For the past two seasons, Lopez has been driving in the touring car series in Argentina.  He has won the TC2000 championship both years and won last year’s TopRace V6 championship. He has also raced a Ferrari in conjunction with the ACA in Europe and the U.S. He drove a Ferrari at Sebring’s 12-hour in 2007 for Corsa Motorsports, which was retired after catching fire.

A winner at Barcelona in GP2 with the DAMS team in 2005 at Barcelona, Lopez was part of Renault’s driver development program. Twice he was in consideration for a major testing deal with Renault, but Heikki Kovalainen and Nelson Piquet Jr. were chosen instead.

– Jonathan Ingram can be reached at jingram@racintoday.com

Jonathan Ingram | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, January 24 2010
5 Comments

5 Comments »

  • ANM says:

    LOL USModa is lookin’ great.
    Lopez has all the credentials needed to excel at the very back of the grid, lapped by lap three kind of talent… and money to buy a ride and buy a super licence.
    There are many drivers that have much more talent and will never see a F1 grid so he’ll have a lot of company in that.
    Peter says Carlos(the government money man) says he’s that good! LOL

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  • ChassisDr says:

    May not have a US driver yet, but they do have plenty of good southern boys getting all the equipment ready and are buying Made in America parts.

  • Steve_P83 says:

    USF1 did not hire an American because no American drivers have an FIA super licence. Without the super licence, there is no driving the F1 car. It’s not entirely USF1’s fault that they can’t hire an American right now. Once some American drivers get some testing time they’ll be able to get a super licence and maybe next year we’ll have an American driver. Right now, the team is doing exactly what they should. They’re signing drivers who will bring lots of money into the team while continuing to build the team up.

  • maninmo says:

    So much for USF1 hiring an American driver.