Ferrari willing to help 12th team from USA get into Formula 1


Ferrari are big advocates of customer cars in F1

Ferrari is a big supporter of the F1 customer car concept

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has revealed that a prospective Formula 1 team, with roots in the United States, is keen to get involved at the top tier of the sport and the Italian says that his team would gladly assist with such a project.

Sport Bild reports that a former F1 engineer is heading up the project, and Montezemolo has confirmed contact, “It is true, we have been contacted by this team. And if [one day] the rules will allow, we would like even sell them cars to race.”

Montezemolo has long been advocate of private teams being allowed to purchase cars from the big Formula 1 manufacturers.

Dan Gurney drives the Eagle Weslake T1G during the 1968 Italian GP weekend

Dan Gurney drives the Eagle Weslake T1G during the 1968 Italian GP weekend

He added, “I would love to have a Ferrari with an American flag in Formula 1. It is extremely difficult for a new team to build a competitive car out of nowhere. And for this reason I would love to help.”

Customer F1 cars were common from the outset of Formula 1, the first Ferrari was actually an Alfa-Romeo. The concept lasted until 1981 with the advent of the inaugural FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Prior to that it was common for big teams of the time such as Lotus, McLaren, Tyrell, March and Brabham to lease or sell cars to privateer outfits.

Although the most recent US F1 Team project, headed by Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor, never got off the ground, there is a legacy of Amercan teams at the pinnacle of motor sport.

US racing legend Mark Donohue drives the Penske PC1 at the 1975 Argentine GP

US racing legend Mark Donohue drives the Penske PC1 at the 1975 Argentinian GP

The pioneering USA team was Eagle, under the All American Racers (AAR) banner, established by the legendary Dan Gurney. They scored one F1 victory, at the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix.

The Don Nichols owned Shadow flew the stars and stripes from 1973 to 1975, before changing to British ownership from 1976 until its demise in 1980.

Since then Penske, Parnelli and Team Haas had stints in Formula 1. Of the trio only Penske won a F1 race when John Watson triumphed at the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix. (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Nothing wrong with customer cars

    There is nothing wrong with customer cars. It may be what saves Formula One from going under, and it would be going back to Formula One’s true roots.

  • janjua

    Customer cars are not good, It is a hideous idea that does not make sense. If that happens F1 one will not be F1 any more, there should be a budget cap but customer cars should not happen, will not work, it will not be special, and will be ridiculous. The speciality of F1 is a team building there own car from scratch.

  • Badman Jose

    @ janjua
    To many ‘Nots’ meman..It worked in the pass and will have to work again if F1 wants to control cost.


  • Bub

    Better to have customer cars rather than having just six teams racing three cars each.

    It could easily happen. How many teams were in financial difficulty this year?



  • Always loved motor racing

    Why NOT ?
    Worked in the past, was great seeing ‘customers’ beating the works teams. Jo Siffert at Brands Hatch for example.
    Anyway besides F1 every form of competition is; go purchase a car, engine etc and race. Remember you could get yourself a March chassis, a Ford DFV and race in a Grand Prix. Loved it.

  • Mario

    Costumer cars are fine, if they are not a exact replica of other cars. A team like Mercedes or Ferrari could have 2 or 3 teams with exact same configuration and have big benefits on the limited tests we have.

  • fools

    Nice of Ferrari. This will only help more for F1, U.S. F1, and Ferrari.

    There are many U.S. fans who watch F1. Be nice to see a U.S. base team.

  • Red Bull Cheats

    F1 was F1 when it had customer cars. Now we have DRS, double points for the last race and teams needing pay drivers to survive. How is that F1 but customer cars are not?

  • David Mcvey

    Williams are just fine financially as they had the good sense to diversify and are now world leaders in renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines and motor vehicle hybrid technology which is why most windfarms in the work usr Williams hybrid power as do Porsche and Audi to name few.

  • Ric Johnson

    The first F1 victory for Lotus was not one of Chapman’s team cars, it was Moss in a customer car purchased and entered by Rob Walker.

  • wolfgang

    Have a look at ”” if you want more info on this supposed team. And you will still be laughing after Christmas.

  • grat

    @wolfgang: I doubt Ferrari would take the force1usa “effort” seriously. Give Luca de Montezemelo SOME credit.

    He also specified the team has a former F1 engineer involved, which also appears to exclude force1usa.

    I think a decent compromise might be if Ferrari and Mercedes (and possibly others, but those two teams both can make a “complete” car) offered customer chassis– the tub, the wiring, the powertrain, etc., but the customer team was responsible for all aero surfaces (wings, sidepods, floor, diffuser).

    The base chassis (and an engineer with no supervision) was a major hurdle for USF1, so if you could bypass the foundation, and jump straight into the aero/suspension/tuning, I’d think that would reduce costs considerably.

  • spornbot

    20 December, 2013 at 7:18 pm who posted:
    “Customer cars are not good, It is a hideous idea that does not make sense. If that happens F1 one will not be F1 any more,”

    F1 ISN’T F1 anymore anyways. Look at all the artificial enhancements….F1 isn’t about the baddest, fastest cars, it’s about being the smartest at the parsing(interpreting) of complex rules.

  • Troy F Collins

    It could be as simple as NART cars of the sixties…..running the perquisite blue and white colors…..

    John Surtees Ferrari ran the NART colors in 65′ when Enzo had a spat with the CSA

    The prospective team would purchase a chassis and engine and maybe not get all the latest updates but would still be in the game…much easier now that the engine spec is frozen at some point…..

    question is who is Montezemolo speaking about here……Penske…Gannasis…Risi…..or some new outfit

    Maybe its time the Constuzione supports the Assemblatore

    I’m curious

  • Maserati123

    I would love to see customer cars in F1,this is what F1 needs.I know Michael Andretti is very keen,and I would love to see Andretti and Ferrari working together in F1.If this does not happen soon, most of the teams will fall by the wayside.I hope the stupid FIA allows this soon,it would definitely be very exciting.

  • Maserati123

    Troy F Collins,it is Andretti,who else.They are all Italians,and this would be AWESOME for the sport.I hope it happens soon.