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USF1 Joins Rest of F1 Grid

by F1Fan on January 26, 2010

After months of rumors USF1 finally announced yesterday afternoon that they had signed Jose Maria Lopez as one of their Drivers for the 2010 F1 Season. With rather more pomp and circumstance than that which usually surrounds the announcement of an F1 Driver, the signing of Lopez was officially announced by the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in the Casa Rosada (Government House) in Buenos Aires.

Charlotte, N.C. (Jan. 25, 2010) – US F1 Team announced today that they have signed the former Renault F1 Team test driver, Jose Maria “Pechito” Lopez (26), to race with them in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship. Lopez will be the 24th Argentine* to race in Formula One, sustaining a heritage that began sixty years ago when Juan Manuel Fangio and Froilan “Pepe” Gonzalez took the F1 world by storm.

Commenting on Lopez’s signing Peter Windor US F1 Team Executive Vice preside went on to say:

“Securing ‘Pechito’ Lopez for our debut season has been a goal of ours for a long time, we’ve been following his career since he dominated the Renault V6 Championship in 2003 and we’re thrilled to have him on board as we return America to Formula One. Lopez is a consummate professional and born leader. The most revealing thing about his character was how he handled the disappointment of not racing for Renault after three years of testing with them in F1. Instead of moping around and feeling sorry for himself, he returned to Argentina and totally dominated the local scene, winning 38 races and three championships. He became a major star as a result and, in turn, the Argentine nation – a country where F1 is second only to soccer – has got behind him

Ken Anderson, US F1 Team Principal seems equally impressed with their choice of driver:

“So many things go into starting a Formula One team from scratch,” Anderson said. “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.”

Lopez, has more than 6,000 kilometers of F1 test experience but we saw in Luca Badoer’s return to F1 last season in the Ferrari F60 that years of F1 test experience do not always equate to a quick race pace and Badoer had recent F1 test experience unlike Lopez. Lets hope that this is not the case for USF1 and that Jose Maria Lopez was one of those natural talents that just got overlooked.

Photo Attribution: © Copyright 2010 US F1 Team
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