Charlotte, Friday: New-for-2010 team USF1 have confessed that they may be forced to recruit space aliens to drive their cars in their inaugural season, despite their original intention to field a team composed entirely of Earthlings.

Searching: USF1s driver hunt continues
Searching: USF1's driver hunt continues

The U-turn, team principal Ken Anderson insists, comes with great regret at the culmination of a search for suitable drivers. “We have been forced to widen our horizons a little bit,” Anderson stated in a press conference today. “It appears that, at this late stage, we may not be able to find any drivers for our team who are strictly from Earth. Therefore we must consider the possibility of recruiting an alien for the job, providing, of course, that he can bring to the team the necessary qualities of experience and skill.”

While no alien has ever officially participated in the Formula One world championship, there were some suspicious looks exchanged when David Coulthard first arrived on the F1 scene.

Anderson explained that USF1 had teamed up with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) to scan the skies for potential future world champions. SETI picked up an interesting signal earlier in the year from the furthest reaches of space, which on closer examination appeared to be a radio conversation between two individuals, one of whom was known, bizarrely, as “Felipebaby.”

“We’re confident that widening our search for drivers will be a positive move for USF1,” Anderson continued. “As far as I know no other team has tried to sign an alien, so we have a potentially untapped market just waiting to be exploited. In the future, we may look with hindsight on the general unavailability of Earth-based F1 drivers as a good thing.”

As The Runoff Area went to press, reports had surfaced that former GP2 champion Giorgio Pantano had been spotted purchasing a Little Green Man costume from a local fancy dress shop, but USF1 have already stated that they “won’t be falling for that.”