April 1st, I celebrate my first year of not smoking. I have smoked longer than some of you have lived. This was the hardest thing that I can remember having to do.
Pubs and bars should have the option of whether their business is a No Smoking establishment, not the government!!!!
After burying two friends of mine, in a 13 month period as a result of smoking, I started to worry about leaving my three sons without a mother. Worse yet, Vanity took over and I could not imagine someone like myself, who has spent years taking serious care of her body and looks, being hooked up to oxygen and wheezing and hacking from emphysema.
A couple of years ago I asked my 18 year old, at the time, why so many of his friends smoke. His reply broke my heart. He said, “Because my friends think you are so cool and they want to be just like you!!!”
I still allow people to smoke around me and at my home. My husband smokes. I am proud to say that in the past year four 20 year olds, who visit our home, have kicked the habit.
I hope all adults can keep kids from lighting up………………….I never want to have to see another friend go through what my dear friends have gone through. The loss of a friend is so hard but burying the mother of a kid I helped raise was devastating .
This is a very touchy topic, I know…….I spent years having three sons beg me to quit.
To anyone who wishes to quit………Good Luck!!!!!! To those who have, please tell your story.
I saved almost $4,000 so far!!!!!!!
People all over the world are using isometrics. The star Bruce Lee used isometrics for physical development. Some ways to use isometric exercises include pushing door frames and extending towels. By using isometric as an exercise, various muscles are relieved from tension for a period of time. A person should begin isometrics because it strengthens the joints and muscles.
Also isometric training can be used to increase a person’s speed, power and agility. The muscle fiber’s twitches are made increasingly quick. When a person uses it in their daily routine, the reactionary twitch of the muscles is done faster. Thus the person’s speed and quickness is increased. The use of resistance bands is a great way to speed train, especially for a baseball, softball and track. The muscles have an opportunity to achieve a maximum force. Resistance in isometrics involves contraction of the muscles being used.
Before a person begins any exercise it is important to know what they will be involved in. Isometrics have been in existence for thousands of years. Isometric exercise has been used for static holds in yoga and Chinese martial arts. One of the people who brought isometric exercises to the local public was Charles Atlas. He used it in his training regimes. Today a lot of great bodybuilders use isometric exercise that is also incorporated into isotonic exercises. Isometric exercise is overall proven to be a great way to gain strength at the joint angles.
Finally, with much effort coming from concerned parents, health consumers and experts…
The FDA has agreed to re-examine its pro-mercury fillings position, and to consider protecting those whose brains are still developing — children and the unborn.
However, Continued Vigilance is Still Needed to Ban Dental Mercury…
This is not the first time that the FDA has concealed the dangers of dental mercury on consumers, and if history does tend to repeat itself, then we are still at great risk of another cover up.
In 2008, the leading consumer protection attorney in the United States known as Charlie Brown filed a court case with respect to mercury,FDA posted stark warnings that amalgam can injure the developing brains of children and fetuses. In addition, the FDA’s own website briefly stated:
“Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses.”
Then in 2009, the FDA buried the warnings, placing them where they hoped parents wouldn’t see them. That’s right!!! The FDA with all its protective power pulled the warnings from its Web site, saying there would be no warnings to patients, not even young women and parents of young children, that the mercury from the amalgam fillings is a reproductive toxin and a neurotoxin.
Even worse, The FDA gave the amalgam industry a green light to sell and place amalgam without disclosing to consumers that the fillings are mainly mercury, even though the agency is aware of the industry’s long-time deceptive practice of marketing amalgam as “silver fillings,” when in reality they’re composed of about 50 percent mercury.
So if any agency requires continued vigilance, it is the FDA.
How is Toxic Mercury Still Allowed in Modern-Day Dentistry?
Mercury amalgam fillings are primitive 19th-century devices, but they are still widely used in the United States where they’re even endorsed by the American Dental Association.
It’s an ironic fact that the metallic mercury used by dentists to manufacture dental amalgam is shipped as a hazardous material to the dental office. Any amalgam leftover is also treated as hazardous and requires special precautions to dispose of.
Yet you can have those same toxic fillings put directly into your mouth just by asking (and paying the price, of course)! But when you do, you’re introducing mercury, a potent toxin that can damage your brain, central nervous system and kidneys, into your body.
Children and fetuses, whose brains are still developing, are most at risk, and that is why it’s especially dangerous for pregnant women to get an amalgam … but really anyone can be impacted. Again, those most at risk include:
Pregnant and nursing women Children
People with already high levels of mercury bioburden
Those who are sensitive to mercury exposure
So why has the FDA been so reluctant to issue a ban, even after acknowledging the steep risks?
There is evidence that FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg’s relationship with the nation’s top amalgam seller, Henry Schein, may have played a role in this dismal result.
Dr. Hamburg served on the board of dental products colossus Henry Schein Inc., drawing an annual income of a quarter million dollars a year, according to the Wall Street Journal. In May 2009, when she took office as Commissioner, she was still holding Henry Schein stock options, which she did not cash until July, the month the amalgam rule issued. In fact, she was still holding Schein stock options until July 27, the day before the FDA rule was announced.
The FDA agreed that Margaret Hamburg had an ethical problem that led to her recusal, but neither she nor anyone else at the FDA would say what work she did on the rule or when she stopped working on it.
As it stands, the resulting rule was and is a bonanza for Henry Schein, who can sell amalgam to anyone and everyone without even disclosing that it is mainly mercury — but hopefully come December, that will all change.
The New FDA Hearing Could Change the Future of Mercury in Dentistry
Come December, the FDA will convene hearings before its Dental Products Panel to determine whether to stop amalgam use for children and pregnant women. The issue now is who will sit on this FDA panel that will determine the safety of dental mercury. FDA has a history of stacking the deck of its panels, so that the pro-industry staff position gets ratified.
They also have a history of ignoring their panelists’ advice if it is not pro-industry. In fact, the FDA’s 2009 ruling was in direct contradiction to the conclusions of their own 2006 Joint Panel of FDA scientific experts, as well as the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology Scientific Advisory Board members who reviewed the same papers.
The ruling was even contradictory to the FDA’s own advisories that pregnant women should limit their intake of certain fish due to mercury content, even though, as IAOMT reported, mercury dental fillings contribute two to three times as much mercury to the human body than do dietary and environmental sources combined.
Come this December, the FDA panel will make a ruling that will make or break whether children and unborn children continue to be harmed by dental mercury … and you can still play a part in making sure it’s a fair fight.
Voice Your Opinion: A FAIR, Unbiased Panel is Needed
I ask you to write Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, and ask that he convene a balanced panel — that he not pack it with dental school deans and others with ties to the pro-mercury American Dental Association.
If the FDA panel is to have any credibility whatsoever, Dr. Shuren needs all sides fairly represented on it.
This is incredibly important, as there is well-publicized corruption at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Last year, former Center for Devices Director Dan Schultz (part of the group that has given carte blanche to amalgam sales with no disclosure) resigned “by mutual agreement” with Dr. Hamburg, amidst complaints that he pressured staff to approve devices that they did not think were safe in order to benefit industry.
Now that the Center is under a new director, I recommend you write Dr. Shuren at Jeff.Shuren@fda.hhs.gov; ask him for a balanced dental products panel to review the FDA dental mercury rule — a humane panel of people dedicated to protecting children and unborn babies from exposure to toxic products.
Let him know that the public will not tolerate a panel biased in favor of the American Dental Association’s pro-mercury position — not when our children’s health is at stake.
For the last 10 years, Charlie Brown has been working tirelessly with the Consumers for Dental Choice to eliminate the use of mercury in U.S. dentistry. Now you, too, can join the fight, and many of you already have!
Because so many of you voiced your opposition and outrage at the FDA’s 2009 ruling, the FDA Webview stated that:
“No final rule in FDA’s modern history, or perhaps ever, has attracted this kind of organized opposition.”
Grassroots activism is making a difference, and it will continue to do so because of dedicated readers like you! It nearly brings tears to my eyes to see that we can make a difference and start to save children and adults from brain damage by limiting their exposure to this toxic poison.
So let’s keep the pressure on the FDA and not let them off the hook this time!
Please write Dr. Shuren at Jeff.Shuren@fda.hhs.gov and ask that he convene a balanced panel for this December’s FDA amalgam hearing.
Original Article located at: www.Mercola.com
Dr. Daniel’s Health Tips
1. If you have amalgram fillings, find a holistic dentist who can help you to safely remove them.
2. Look into the right kind of testing to determine if you have mercury poisoning. Note: A simple blood test or hair analysis will not do the trick. This topic is too complicated to discuss here.
3. Make sure that you are taking in plenty of Antioxidants to offset the effects of mercury poisoning.
Recent events at Spa have once again bought into question the safety aspect of Formula One, with many asking for the FIA to look into the use of closed cockpits. This however may not only be a question of safety but one of perception. Formula 1 has always been about open wheel and cockpit racing but has the time come to look into the option of closed cockpits in order to safeguard the stars who drive these cars?
Perception is something F1 has to work hard at to keep the sponsors interested and so anything that may harm the show will always be given a large consideration anyway. In the case of Closed Cockpits I can see things from both sides of the argument but inevitably if the FIA mandate it’s usage the fans, teams, drivers and sponsors alike will get used to it and F1 will continue to be the Formula it always has been.
Although fans are always looking to advocate safety in F1 they are also the first ones to jump up and down when circuits have mass run off area’s instead of gravel traps or car’s are designed with step noses even though it’s because it’s more aerodynamically efficient with the bulkhead needing to be higher for safety standards. Run off area’s are not used simply because there is the space for them they are a more efficient way of dealing with a car that is off line or out of control. Gravel Traps still remain a real threat with cars that approach them sideways as the car will most likely roll over. Most fans see run off area’s as a way of cars staying in a race but for me they a much safer alternative than gravel traps.
In 2011 the FIA institute tested 2 polycarbonate canopies in order to evaluate the effectiveness of deflection at high speed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h6GHEEWR_U
Furthermore earlier this year the FIA institute tested a forward roll hoop http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgHh4V0WYCs this ungainly looking device although effective at deflecting a forward projectile, would most certainly impair the driver’s field of vision. It does however highlight the fact that the FIA are looking into measures to protect drivers further. The problem facing the FIA and TWG (Technical Working Group) is how far do you take head protection and how will it further impact other design aspects of the car?
- With enclosed cockpits there are other pitfalls:
- Driver extraction in a crash scenario
- Field of Vision being distorted
- Weather & Other Environmental Effects
- Circulation of fresh air into the cockpit
- Aerodynamic Influence
Many ask why not simply go for a halfway house and have an enlarged windscreen but these offer just the same complications seen with full cockpit enclosure and still leave part of the risk exposed.
The best halfway house interpretation I have seen was presented by Machin over on the www.F1Technical.net forum and uses both a carbon roll hoop and polycarbonate screen in order to deflect any debris/errant components. He goes on to explain that the canopy be hinged from the front of the cockpit when not in use but I’d go on to say that it could also be slid along the top of the bulkhead helping with extraction should the car end up overturned.
It could be argued that the largest risk to a driver’s head is a wheel striking their helmet and so the other plausible solution would be to investigate a wheel shroud that vastly reduces the chances of a wheel detaching. This however massively detracts from the Formula of open wheel racing and I personally would find this a bitter pill to swallow. Also worth noting is that inertia should decrease when a tyre deflates (reduction in mass) and so I’m left wondering why wheel/tyres are not intrinsically designed to deflate the tyre should a wheel become detached. This would also lead to the wheel / tyres loosing energy quicker as they bounce around the circuit making them less liable to cause an incident.
The one thing that is apparent to me is that when an accident ensues in F1 the kinetic energy of the car almost always results in the car taking off. We see this all the time when drivers get it wrong over kerbs or in the worse case like Mark Webber in 2011 the car actually flips over. Until the FIA / TWG find a way to regulate ways of decreasing this I see no reason to further look into closed cockpits. It’s like a buttered piece of toast will always land on the buttered side when dropped, an F1 car will always head skywards due to the engine weighting the rear of the car along with the aero being heavily attributed to the rear.
Due to the regulations cars flipping are now far less likely to end with a driver injury due to the geometry involved in height of the bulkhead and the airbox roll over bar which creates a buffer zone preventing a driver from their head being impacted. This has been seen to work on various occasions but none more drastically so than Robert Kubica’s accident at Montreal in 2007.
One things for certain, things that seem controversial now will seem imperative in 20 years time just look at the HANS device, once looked at with disdain you wouldn’t get a driver climbing aboard the car without one now. Safety in Motorsport is a multi faceted and complex scenario with cars, track design and even the drivers themselves always needing revision. When I think of safety in F1 it always brings to mind Jackie Stewart with a spanner taped to his steering wheel in case he got trapped in his car, knowing he needed to help himself as much as others did their job to help him.
To think that adding a canopy to F1 cars will make them safe is a fool hardy judgment and careful consideration and testing should be done before hastily adapting the cars. Afterall an accident cannot be planned for, otherwise it wouldn’t be an accident. The variables are so large that all that can be done is for the sport to reduce the risk on team & track personnel.
Author: Matthew Somerfield
The German sense of humour is often treated as a punchline in itself. Lazy comedians fall back on the concept in the absence of a joke, and British audiences in particular like to laugh at our po-faced Teutonic neighbours.
And while films such as Go Trabi Go have begun to change the stereotype of the unfunny German, there is still a long way to go. While young Germans these days will have grown up with Monty Python’s Flying Circus and all manner of American and British comedy imports, the German obsession with Dinner for One means the stereotype lives on.
Sebastian Vettel is – unwittingly – turning that stereotype on its head.
In addition to being one of the most talented drivers on the modern grid, Sebastian Vettel is a breath of fresh air in the paddock. As F1 has become ever more of a business and less of a sport, the drivers have been conforming to corporate expectations. Personalities are subdued, composed, and professional, and the vast majority of paddock quotes come in the form of carefully crafted PR-friendly statements.
Vettel is one of the few drivers who can be relied on for a laugh or two in press conferences, and whose responses are more natural than scripted.
Reacting to the Baby Schumi nickname given to him by German newspapers, Vettel said “Well, it’s just a joke. I’ve asked my mum and Michael really isn’t my father.”
And his response on winning the rain-soaked 2008 Monza Grand Prix for Toro Rosso – a victory that made him the youngest winner in F1 history – has become the stuff of Formula 1 legend. Asked by a reporter whether the victory marked the best night of his life, Vettel replied “you obviously weren’t there the night I lost my virginity”.
According to his team profile on the Red Bull website, Sebastian has two ambitions in life: win the WDC and beat Kimi Raikkonen at badminton.
But there is a lot more to the young German than dry wit and a cheeky sense of humour. While Sebastian Vettel has yet to win the Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship, the expectation is that it is only a matter of time. And if Red Bull have seen the last of the reliability gremlins that plagued the RB6 in the first two races of 2010, this could be Vettel’s year.
So how did a 22-year-old become a future champion in only three full seasons in F1? Sebastian Vettel’s path to circuit-racing stardom began in 1990, with the purchase of a child-sized kart. Three-year-old Vettel could hardly bear to be parted from the machine, and began skipping meals in order to spend more time behind the wheel.
That early dedication has served him well. Vettel’s childhood was spent in karting; he began competing at the age of eight, and by 2001 was winning titles. In 2003, at the age of 15, Sebastian made the move into open-wheel racing. It was this transition that marked the start of Vettel’s career as we know it today.
While much has been written about Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg dominating junior formulae on the way into Formula 1, Vettel took a slightly different approach. Where Hamilton and Hulkenberg both served their time in GP2, Vettel got his start in Formula BMW (as did Hulkenberg), but then moved on to Formula 3 and Formula Renault, where he kept a foot in the door until Toro Rosso offered him a full-time drive mid-way through the 2007 F1 season.
Although unconventional, the approach has served him well. In 2004, Vettel dominated Germany’s Formula BMW series, winning 18 out of 20 races, and appearing on the podium at every event. In 2005, racing against Hamilton in the Formula Three Euroseries, Vettel was the highest-scoring rookie, and came fifth overall.
Thanks to his domination of Formula BMW, Vettel scored two F1 tests in 2005 – one for the Williams team, in its final season using a BMW engine, and the other for BMW’s newly purchased Sauber. The Sauber test resulted in a test role for the team towards the end of the 2006 season, but it was 2007 before the young German was able to make the move into Formula 1 full-time.
Vettel’s first outing as an F1 driver was at the 2006 Turkish GP, when he took over Robert Kubica’s test role when the Pole replaced the injured Jacques Villeneuve. And within seconds of getting behind the wheel, Sebastian Vettel was already making Formula 1 history. Nine seconds into his career, the young German was fined for speeding in the pitlane. No driver has yet managed to score a fine in less time, and it is a record that is likely to stand for some time to come.
The young German also scored the fastest time in Friday afternoon practice that weekend, raising eyebrows up and down the paddock. This was a driver to watch
In 2007 Vettel was balancing his testing commitments to BMW Sauber – now full-time – with a push for victory in the World Series by Renault. He was leading the championship when Toro Rosso offered him a full-time driver role, replacing Scott Speed.
Vettel took the seat, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The start of the season is the time when many British GP fans will start discuss amongst themselves as to where they are going to stay when attending the British GP. The argument will be prolonged and eventually they will opt, as they always do, for camping. What could be more romantic than getting up at first light and wandering the few tens of miles to the circuit?
Those new to camping at the British GP might benefit from the experiences of a seasoned campaigner.
It is always either too wet or too dry. It can sometimes be both. It can sometimes be too windy. The only constant with the weather is that it is always too. I remember having to remove my socks one morning in order to wring out the rain from them. I put them over the back of my chair and then had a quick kip. I woke up with sunburn on my toes. Sort of sums up Silverstone weather for me. If it can get you it will. If it can get you twice, it will go for a third.
There are as many arguments as to what to opt for in a tent as there are types. For instance, the one universal truth accepted by all campers is that it is best to have a tent to yourself. However, if you go for a bit of luxury and bring a two man tent then you will be expected to take Colin who, for various reasons, the main one being how thick he is, will have forgotten his.
There is a problem with this argument as if everyone in your group opts for a single man tent then each of you will have to accept Colin as a guest at some point during the weekend and then he will turn over on top of you. This is exacerbated by the fact that by Sunday everyone will smell.
Don’t be fooled by the chap in the showroom who erected a tent by throwing it at a wall from which it rebounded fully assembled. Every tent, be it a massive frame tent, those igloo types or the latest one that is named after a mountain, takes at least two hours to put up. This doesn’t apply to the bivouac style sheet of plastic that the scary looking chap with what appears to be an AK47 in his bag put up with his toes whilst staring around him.
Don’t take the instruction sheet with you. Firstly, it will not apply to the tent you have and secondly, even if you put it in a special little box that you hang around your neck, by the time to get to the camping ground you will have lost it.
Tent pegs disappear as well. It is a bad move to get even one bit of your tent taut as this is a signal to all those who arrived at the site sans tent pegs that you have some. It is best to view tent pegs as rather like bats. They should only come out when it is dark and should be back out of sight by morning.
Don’t buy an expensive tent. I borrowed a one man, super light, easily erected, four seasons-type expedition tent. It really looked the business. It impressed everyone, especially the bloke who took it down during the race
Before you go practice sleeping on a hill. It is a very underrated skill.
Leave a light on in your tent at night. Whilst this tends to be a beacon for various stinging flying things, there are worst things that could invade your tent. Such as the drunken fan making his way back to his tent. Sometimes whilst driving.
It is not a good idea to spend any longer in the toilets than is strictly necessary. Building greater lung capacity that a pearl diver is the minimum preparation.
Do not let any bare part of your body touch any fixture or fitting inside or outside any loo in the camping area and at the circuit. For this reason do not eat the bergers as these will increase the number of visits and your speed of entry. Indeed, when spectating try and pick a spot some distance from the toilets as you can sometimes be fooled into thinking a car has just started.
Thinking laterally, I opted one year to take my own porta potti with toilet tent to Silverstone. I was somewhat shocked to find a queue outside it at 1 am. The look of bewilderment on the face of the chap I dragged from inside still haunts me. It seemed that in his opinion I was the one acting unreasonably.
Do not try and be too flash. There was one chap who parked his twin axled caravan amongst the tents and then proceeded to erect an awning. He was treated as a pariah. In fact so much so that it reminded me of when expressed to the crowd I was with how sorry I was that Italian driver Patrese’s Williams expired during the Italian GP at Monza allowing the Ferrari through into the lead. A basic error that I am not likely to repeat, even if the Italian secret service hadn’t noted what I said and classed me as an enemy of the state.
The chap made the mistake of sitting in he recliner outside his awning with alcohol with ice, a fry-up and, worst of all, an attractive women beside him. Some say that the fact that the two tyres on one side deflated proved that he must have driven over something sharp but many were sceptical.
Which brings us onto food
When inside the circuit don’t buy anything that purports to have meat in it even if you have access to your own toilet and have a lock on the door. Avoid shellfish like the plague as it is like the plague.
Go out for your evening meal and stock up. It needs to last you until the following evening with just a top up from a loaf or two of bread.
Do not try and remember where you parked your tent by its relationship to any other tent. When you return there will be many more tents. Except that is after the race when there will be lots fewer including, as I mentioned earlier, one year a tent I borrowed. A very expensive tent.
Use permanent features as markers like, for instance, one of the many waste dumps. They will probably have been there since the previous GP so will be impossible to move.
When it comes time to leave, you’ve got no use for the gubbins so throw in all into the boot of your car, including Colin, and head for home. That gives you something to do when you stop at the motorway services. You can spend endless hours looking for your wallet. Be frightened if you find the chap with the AK47 hiding in the boot.
And then promise yourself that you will never go camping again.
For almost two years, I have been writing the Slipstream as a different perspective on the world of Formula One. As an American F1 fan, I am surrounded by the sounds of other domestic racing series, and while I am a fan of those series, Formula One is my passion. I would like to take the time to thank PitLaneF1 Magazine in featuring the Slipstream in their publication and I look forward to working with the entire staff and sharing my views with you, the reader.
Formula One and the United States have had a long and rich history together. Phil Hill and Mario Andretti are the only two world champions from the States, both winning their titles in tragic circumstances. From the days where the Indy 500 counted towards the overall World Driver’s Championship, to the famous tracks of Watkins Glen and Long Beach, F1 has always had a place in the United States, until recently. With the fallout of the 2005 US Grand Prix still lingering, the series left the United States after the 2007 race the future relationship between American fans and Formula One was cast in serious doubt.
In the fall of 2008, the world was rocked by the worst financial crisis in a generation. This crisis impacted Formula One in declining ticket sales but it seemed that the shockwaves would only hit outlying factors of the sport. With Honda departing in December of 2008, and rumors of Toyota, Renault, and BMW walking away if they did not join the rumored break away series, you could not blame anybody for having a bleak out look for the future of Formula One. The Honda F1 “dream” was over, and the series was entering the new design era with speculation that the entire F1 house of cards would fall in on itself by 2012.
Rumors of an American centered Formula One team started to propagate. Buzz and excitement flew across the motor sports world. Questions of legitimacy were being asked in every F1 publication, doubts sank into even the most optimistic US Formula 1 fan. Was this team legitimate? Who will race for them? Who will sponsor them in this economy? All questions posed across the F1 global community.
A sign of encouragement was first seen in late February of 2009 as Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor announced that the rumors were true, and USF1 or United States Grand Prix Engineering was born. Not only did the team exist, they were already talking about who might drive for the organization when the green lights signaled the start of the 2010 season in Bahrain.
Popularity and excitement around the team grew at a rapid pace. This was helped by the presence of Mr.Windsor during Formula One race broadcasts and the frequent hype generated by the team’s de facto soapbox, Speed TV. Known as mainly a NASCAR channel, the network took it upon themselves to help generate excitement about the team. It did also help that the team’s main base of operations was based in Charlotte, North Carolina, home to all of the major Spint Cup teams. USF1 was starting to come together, but doubts over its late start and the lack of drivers would continue to linger around the team.
As spring rolled into summer and some of the other newly announced F1 teams such as Manor, Lotus, and Campos began to at least mention driver preferences, little was heard from the Charlotte backed organization. When the other teams were signing title sponsors, Mr. Windsor and the team would only give subtle overtures and avoidances to anything considered a tough question requiring a straight answer.
When pressed on the subject on air, Mr.Windsor would only respond with “we are fielding many possible line ups” and offering only vague hints at even potential considerations to fill both seats. It was the hope of many US fans that there would be at least one US born driver announced. In a way, the over exposure on the Speed network allowed NASCAR to put it’s mark on the team in a way that I doubt Mr. Windsor had wanted to. During the summer when the buzz about the team was the most intense, NASCAR commentators would suddenly insert drivers like Kyle Busch, Scott Speed, and Juan Montoya. It almost seemed that NASCAR wanted a piece of the team that would soon be operating in its corporate nexus of Charlotte. The rumors about drivers ranged from the absurd to the absolute bizarre, the strangest being Indy Car driver Danica Patrick’s remarks that “she wasn’t interested” in considering pursing a seat for the team.
The reality about the team started to manifest itself when it was announced this past summer that YouTube founder Chad Hurley had thrown financial support behind the team. Rumors of Best Buy signing on with the team were also starting to gain steam as well. Best Buy had been trying to break into the European market for years and being on the side pod or vortex generator of a F1 car would have certainly helped their brand exposure in the European, Asian, and Middle Eastern markets.
Things became slightly more troubling when the first driver was announced and it was nobody anybody really expected. When Jose’ Maria Lopez of Argentina was announced as the team’s first driver a collective “Who?” rang out across the motor sport world. After months of speculation and hype, this was all that USF1 could announce? While the other teams were preparing for their debut in Jerez, Spain, USF1 was still trying to secure not only general sponsorship, but also additional funds to keep Lopez’s services. It was looking as the fate of the team was becoming more of a forgone conclusion that they would never make the grid in Bahrain, maybe hope remained for the middle of the season, or even a delayed launch until 2011.
The team’s demise was confirmed by the FIA when their entry list for the 2010 season was released two weeks ago. USF1, long suspected of not being able to make the grid would not race in 2010, and the American team from Charlotte who “hoped” to sign US talent “eventually” closed it’s doors with both team principals having yet to comment.
The team’s failures are many and there still may yet be hope for a US team to make the grid in todays “new team friendly” F1 but the faults of USF1 started at the very top. When pressed for answers, Mr.Windsor who was acting in the capacity of team spokesperson would provide very vague answers to some very basic questions such as engine provider, title sponsor, and driver candidates. Even if Mr. Windsor didn’t have the answers to those questions, he could have gone a long way to establish creditability for the team if he just admitted that the team was still looking for all of those things. Instead he just skirted away from the chance to establish fact in a team surrounded by fiction.
If he was also able to sign somebody like Ryan Hunter Reay or Marco Andretti to even a test contract it could have been a great help in finding sponsorship. Marco had been given a test by the Honda team a few years ago, and while it was a basic demonstration for the young American, it seemed to be a prelude to possibly a test seat by 2010. Both of those men could have been a great help to the team by convincing fans of not only the legitimacy of the “US” in USF1, but also help bring sponsors to the table.
The demise of the USF1 effort was upsetting, if not frustrating to see. While there were many fans who hoped it would succeed, the team did not want to show it’s support back to the fans that desperately wanted it to succeed. Had the team staged a demonstration run at Watkins Glen, or in New York City, I am sure that there could have been serious excitement generated by a team started on good intentions but faced with the hard realities of today.