You could argue that there hasn’t been a serious Formula 1 contender from the United States since Michael Andretti’s brief foray into the sport with McLaren in the 1990s. It’s been even longer since there has been a credible American F1 team- but 2016 could see the number of US-based teams competing in the top rung of international motorsports go from 0, to 2. (!)
We already knew that CNC machine manufacturer Haas is leveraging its close ties with Ferrari to launch (what is considered by many to be) a Ferrari “B” team in 2016. Now, however, a group of investors headed by New York financier James Carney and Austin businessman Tavo Hellmund (who developed the Circuit of the Americas track and brokered the deals that brought F1 back to the US) is looking to buy an existing team. Such a move would see them ready for action at the start of the 2016 season.
The most likely candidates for a buyout is the British-based Manor team, which is currently controlled by Stephen Fitzpatrick and supported by Ferrari (again). Despite its poor performance on the track, Manor’s TV deal with F1 means it is guaranteed a minimum $40 million payout at the end of each season through 2017- more than enough, in other words, for Carney and Hellmund to roll the dice with.
What do you guys think? Is this the dawn of a new golden age of American F1 racing- or is Ferrari using TV contracts and regulation loopholes to expand its in-season testing capabilities? Let us know what you think, in the comments!
Source | Images: Motorsport.