Charlotte, Wednesday: Acknowledging for the first time that they may be forced to miss the first part of the 2010 season, USF1 have announced that an interim plan is in place to help them compete in the first few races of the year.
According to the plan, devised by team officials Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor, the team will not participate in the actual races in Bahrain, Australia and Malaysia. Instead, these three races will be simulated on the Nintendo Wii game F1 2009, and the results submitted to the FIA, where they will be integrated into the classification of the races.
“Plenty of things are done electronically these days,” Windsor reasoned as he made the announcement to a room of incredulous journalists. “Video conferencing, online instant messaging; you can even buy insurance on the Internet these days. So why not F1 races? It’s a logical step in the evolution of the sport, and USF1 is proud to announce itself as the first-ever entirely virtual F1 team.”
Racing only on computer games is expected to be a huge cost-saver for the American team, and could catch on with other teams, such as Campos. However, enquiries at the Spanish squad revealed that though they were in principle interested in such an approach, putting together the required funds to purchase a Nintendo Wii console could pose a problem.
Some objections have already been raised against USF1’s intentions, including the point that the layout of Bahrain’s Sakhir circuit has changed relative to its 2009 iteration. Windsor, however, believes that this will not be a problem: “It will simply level the playing field. With any luck it will give us some hope of some points – or at least stop us from being lapped quite as many times.”
Established F1 teams, however, were quick to rule out the “electronic” approach for their operations. Ferrari said that it was not an option for them as they no longer had any working television sets at Maranello.
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