US F1's sporting director Peter Windsor says his team is frustrated by the mandatory summer shutdown imposed in Formula 1 since last year.
Since the rule was introduced, all teams have been forced to shut down their factories during the August break in order to reduce costs. Windsor said his team, which will make its F1 debut this year, will follow the rules and shut down its factory, too, but reluctantly.
"We're all complaining a little about everything closing down for the New Year but, believe me, America is currently much more industrious than the UK," Windsor wrote on the US F1 website's blog. "Here, at our home base, we were quiet on Christmas Day (naturally) and then again today. The UK – and most of Europe – basically shut down on Dec. 18 and will not stagger back to life until Jan. 4. That's 16 valuable days lost in the too-short life of the F1 European winter.
"And that's not all: remember the August F1 shutdown that was introduced for the first time in 2009? Well, it's happening again in 2010. Understand that most of Europe closes for August and you kind of understand the decision. Unless you're American, that is.
"As in Australia, August for Americans is just another working month in which some people maybe take a week or two away. There's no nationwide shutdown, as such – not of the type that regularly afflicts massive F1 teams like Ferrari. For years, all of their suppliers have been shutting their doors for the month of August – and for years the European teams have been complaining that the situation has been growing worse, not better."
He added: "There was an F1 team meeting vote in the early fall about whether the 2009 F1 August shutdown had been a 'success.' I was impressed to hear the McLaren guys say that it was a waste of time and that most of their staff had found it all very frustrating, but sadly these were lone voices: the majority of the teams, led by Red Bull, it seemed to me, are firmly committed to the summer shutdown. And so shut down we will."