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US F1 won't test until late February

ESPNF1 Staff
January 27, 2010 « Red Bull and Toro Rosso announce reserve drivers | »
Jose Maria Lopez said the new US F1 car will make its debut in late February © USF1
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US F1's 2010 car won't be ready until late February, just three weeks before the season opener on March 14.

Team boss Peter Windsor had previously said the car would run on US soil in early February, when most its competitors will hit the track in Europe, before being shipped east for the start of the season. However, recently-signed driver Jose Maria Lopez has given a different date.

"The car should be ready between February 20-25 and then we're going to test drive it in Alabama," he told Reuters.

With Lopez now on board the team is believed to have received US$8 million in additional sponsorship, on top of the backing it had already secured from other sponsors including internet giant You Tube. Windsor has repeatedly claimed that the team has the resources to make the grid for the first race in Bahrain, but F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone was still casting doubt over the project, as well as the new Campos team, earlier this week.

"Campos and the American team are having problems - financial, not technical," he told The Mirror. "Formula One is looking much stronger than it has for a long time. It's a shame to have lost some manufacturers but, let's be honest, we all knew their time in Formula One was limited."