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Monday, March 1, 2010

Cooper: USF1 Lost Rossiter to KV

The United States' Formula 1 team, currently in a state of disarray, looks even worse with the recent release of news pertaining to the team losing a driver.

SpeedTV.com's Adam Cooper reports that James Rossiter, now destined for an IZOD IndyCar Series ride with KV Racing Technology, had signed with the team as early as December. Rossiter was committed to bringing $8 million of sponsorship with him, as the team had mandated for any drivers.

However, the $16 million that Rossiter and Argentinian Jose Maria Lopez were to bring to the team was not enough. The team's vehicle, the Type 1, still has not been launched, and thus far all that anybody has seen of it are some CGI renderings of 3D models.

Rumors have been circulating for months that the American team would not be ready in time for the start of the season, and while team sources adamantly have denied this speculation for months, the past few weeks have seen everything fall apart for the Charlotte-based organization.

Despite signing two drivers with F1 testing experience, the team could not make any guarantees to either driver about making the grid for the start of the season. Both drivers pulled out of their deals within the past month, reported Cooper. Lopez is now searching for another seat in Europe.

Ironically, Rossiter's landing place at KV reportedly has connections to another Formula 1 team. His No. 32 Marisco Liqueur Dallara-Honda reflects the livery that the Lotus F1 team ran from 1972 to 1986. Lotus recently announced that they looked to return to the Indianapolis 500 this year, and it doesn't seem a stretch that Rossiter is the driver with which they will do it.

The new, Malaysian-backed Lotus F1 team runs the Cosworth spec engine that the series put in place for this season. The Cosworth Group is led by Kevin Kalkhoven, the "K" in KV Racing Technology. Not only that, the original Lotus team (whose colors and heritage have been licensed to the new entity) was British-based, and former F1 test driver Rossiter was born in Oxford.

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