Team US F1 is the subject of an FIA inspection on Wednesday about its state of readiness for the new season, AUTOSPORT reports, amid fresh doubts about the American outfit's hopes of competing in 2010.
Less than 24 hours after a senior staff member at the Charlotte-based operation revealed the troubles the team is in, high level sources say that the FIA is now taking a detailed look at the team. FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting is visiting US F1's headquarters to get an update on its progress for 2010 – and just how ready it is to compete this year.
The visit, which has not been officially confirmed by either US F1 or the FIA, comes in the wake of speculation that team backer Chad Hurley is trying to complete a deal with either Campos Meta or Stefan GP to merge operations and keep US F1's ambitions on track. On Tuesday, Hurley was singled out as the man one senior staff member at US F1 believes is key to brokering a deal to help it survive.
"We feel Hurley and Parris Mullins [adviser to Hurley] have our best interest [at heart] and also feel Hurley has no intention of abandoning us even though the media has said he's gone with Campos," the staff member told AUTOSPORT. "With all this talk about where US F1 is at, it's been missed that there are 60+ people who have had to suffer through this for the last two months. All of us left jobs and many of us traveled cross-country for this opportunity.
"In a meeting between the employees, Windsor and Anderson, Windsor put the question up to the employees: 'Who here doesn't think we'll make Bahrain?' I think he might have meant it somewhat rhetorically, but he was answered nonetheless, and 100 percent of the staff raised their hands. He was visibly shocked.
"But having said that, throughout the turmoil, the team has really come together and we're all committed to the project; precious few have left in spite of the uncertainty of whether we'll be paid this Friday. I've never seen such dedication."
The FIA declined to confirm the inspection is taking place. An FIA spokesman said: "We have no comment to make, at this stage."