The new Team US F1 has received a boost in its preparations for next year by recruiting former Cosworth director of motorsport Bernard Ferguson.
US F1 is pressing ahead with readying its 2010 challenger, with a first rolling chassis due to be finished later this month, and it has drafted in Ferguson to help as a consultant in building its technical relationship with its new engine supplier Cosworth.
Ferguson retired from his role at Cosworth at the end of 2007, when the famous engine builder left F1. However, with the company returning next year to supply a host of new teams, US F1 has wasted little opportunity in recruiting the highly respected figure.
"We are with Cosworth and pleased to say that we now have Bernard Ferguson working for us, US F1 sporting director Peter Windsor told AUTOSPORT. "He used to head up the Cosworth operation, and indeed headed up the Cosworth operation when the engine that we are going to be racing was designed and built anyway.
"Bernard has since then left the company, but always had a great relationship with them. He is a great guy and he is, I think, going to be as helpful to Cosworth as he will be to us in our new role. We are very happy with that."
US F1 has recently completed the refurbishment of its factory in Charlotte, and work is ongoing in readying its first car. Although the fact that the team kept quiet about its progress in recent weeks prompted speculation that it may not be ready for the start of next year, Windsor says there is no doubt that it is on course to be in Bahrain next March.
"Absolutely," he said. "I would never say never about anything, because lightning could strike the place and the whole thing could explode, but I am just being stupid now. We will be there and why would we not be there if we were not going to do it.
"That is why from day one we wanted to do it ourselves, as a product of everything that all the people we have can create. That is what this team is all about. We are using all the fantastic American technology out there and showing it in a beautiful F1 car, and that in itself in a wonderful thing to be a part of.
"Of course we are going to have a lot of dramas and nothing is going to be easy, but it is going to be a lot of fun and it is going to be a huge challenge – and that is what life is all about."
When asked for a response to comments made by Bernie Ecclestone suggesting there were doubts that US F1 would make it, Windsor said: "We were a bit surprised when Bernie said that, but all Bernie was doing was reflecting general pitlane chat that US F1 has been a bit quiet, so what are they doing?
"I suppose there is so much going on in this world that people do not have the time to think: 'Oh yeah, they are doing the car in-house and they are doing it slightly differently to everybody else – so probably there is quite a big work program on getting the building right, and getting the machinery in place and all that stuff.
"'And while they are doing all that, they are not going to be showing pictures of walls being painted and wires hanging out of the ceiling, are they? So it will probably take them two or three months to get up to speed, given all the problems we have had this year'.
"I cannot imagine anyone in the pitlane has time to think that through, they just think, 'Oh, new F1 team, they have an entry, where are the cars?' I guess in this modern media world, everybody expects instant information and instant pictures anyway.
"In a way, it was probably Bernie showing he is a racer like everybody else. It is fine. I had a good chat to him there, he was nice and helpful, which he always has been. I just said, 'Bernie, just to let you know everything is great, we've just had our machinery delivered. It is looking great.'"