USF1 team has finally confirmed their first driver for their debut F1 season – the Argentine José Maria López. Whether this was wise choice only time will tell. His only previous F1 experience is from his testing duties with Renault back in 2006 (the team claims he has 6,000 km of F1 test mileage under his belt). López also scored one F3000 podium in 2004, one win, one pole and total of six podiums in GP2 in 2005-2006. Since 2007 López competed in TC2000 series in Argentina. Here is what Ken Anderson had to say:
“So many things go into starting a Formula One team from scratch. You can nail every step along the way but if you don’t have the right guys in the seats, everything else is for naught. With Jose Maria Lopez we have further positioned ourselves for a successful 2010 debut campaign.”
One has to wonder what (other than financial and government backing) makes a driver with no F1 racing experience “the right guy in the seat” of a rookie F1 team …
Lopez’s US F1 contract was officially announced by the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in the Casa Rosada (Government House) in Buenos Aires on January 25.
“The Argentine government is very happy to get behind this exciting new project and we wish Jose Maria and the team all the best for the 2010 season.” – Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
“This is a truly memorable day for me, my family and the people of Argentina. I have been working towards this day for much of my life and I can’t thank Peter and Ken enough for this opportunity. Of course a new F1 team faces many challenges but our goal is to improve with each race and build a foundation that will eventually see this team competing for wins and championships.” – José Maria López
This announcement leaves only three vacancies on 2010 F1 grid – one each at Renault, Campos Meta and USF1.