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US F1 asks to miss four races

ESPNF1 Staff
February 20, 2010 « New Campos deal likely to save team | »
Ken Anderson insists there is still hope for US F1 and says Peter Windsor hasn't left the team © Getty Images

US F1's team boss Ken Anderson has asked permission for his team to miss the first four races of its debut season this year.

The team responded to rumours it was facing problems by insisting "we are not gone" on Thursday, but Anderson has now told the New York Times that US F1 is in financial trouble.

"We're working with the FIA to clarify how many races we can miss," he told the newspaper.

Anderson said the Concorde Agreement allows a team to miss three races per season, but the sport's governing body recently clarified that doing so would "constitute an infringement" of the rules. He said he is waiting for a reply from FIA president Jean Todt, adding: "In an ideal world, we can miss the first four races and show up in Barcelona."

However, Anderson admitted that the FIA might turn down US F1's request and put the team out of business.

"I guess anything's possible," he said. "But what would be the point of that? Why would they give us a franchise and just, the first time there's a bump in the road, yank it and put it out of business? That's definitely not the message that I'm getting from them. They want to help us, not shut us down."

He said a quick answer from the FIA president would "trigger funding and we're good to go. If it takes another week or two to make a decision, it keeps backing up."

He also clarified that Jose Maria Lopez remains under contract to race for US F1 in 2010, but did not deny rumours that the Argentine could sign with another team.

"I'm sure he's weighing his options as well," Anderson admitted before denying that YouTube's Chad Hurley and sporting director Peter Windsor had left the team.